Sudan protesters block attempt to break up sit

Mohamed At

The SPA has demanded the immediate handover of power to a civilian transitional government as well as the prosecution of former officials.

Footage circulating online shows hundreds of troops outside the military headquarters in Khartoum on Monday.

The Sudanese military attempted to break up an anti-government sit-in Monday outside its headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, but backed off, organisers behind the protests said.

They say the bid to move them is proof that the security forces can not be trusted and shows why Sudan so badly needs an accountable civilian government.

The protesters, numbering about 5,000 with more arriving, chanted "Freedom, freedom" and "Revolution, revolution", and appealed to the army to protect them.

"There is an attempt to disperse the sit-in from the army headquarters area, they are trying to remove the barricades", the SPA said in a statement, without saying who was responsible.

They are demanding that a civilian government be installed immediately.

The deputy leader also told the U.S. envoy how the military council would "preserve the security and stability of the country".

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Earlier the military council met with political parties and urged them to agree on an "independent figure" to be prime minister, an AFP correspondent present at the meeting said.

It demanded the dissolution of paramilitary groups that were loyal to the old government, and of the National Intelligence and Security Service's (NISS) operations authority, and called for an end to Sudan's press law and the public order law, which they have said restricts freedoms.

A 10-member delegation representing the protesters delivered their demands during talks with the council late on Saturday, according to a statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group spearheading the rallies.

Barely 24 hours later, the military council was forced to appoint its second leader in two days, with Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan replacing Ibn Auf.

Protest leaders say their demands include restructuring the country's feared NISS agency, whose chief Salih Ghosh resigned on Saturday.

Burhan has pledged that individuals implicated in killing protesters would face justice and that demonstrators detained under a state of emergency imposed by Bashir during his final weeks in power would be freed.

The SPA has also called for the confiscation of properties belonging to the ousted president's National Congress Party and the release of soldiers who sided with their movement.

Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting from Khartoum, said the recent concessions by Sudan's military rulers had failed to win over protesters, many of whom remain distrustful of the higher echelons of the country's armed forces due to their historical links to al-Bashir's former administration.

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