Coup leader quits after a day
Sudan’s new ruler under pressure for swift handover to civilian rule
KHARTOUM, Apr 13: Sudan's second new military leader in as many days accepted the resignation of the feared intelligence chief on Saturday as he faced calls at home and abroad for a swift handover to civilian rule.
Career soldier General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan took the helm of Sudan's transitional military council on Friday when his short-lived predecessor General Awad Ibn Ouf -- a close aide of ousted president Omar al-Bashir -- quit in the face of persistent protests.
Burhan now has the tough task of persuading the tens of thousands of protesters who remain on the streets that he is not just another general from the Bashir regime but is genuinely committed to civilian-led reform.
The new leader accepted the resignation on Saturday of the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service, Salih Ghosh, the military council announced.
Ghosh had overseen a sweeping crackdown led by NISS agents against protesters taking part in four months of mass demonstrations that led to the toppling of Bashir in a palace coup by the army on Thursday.
Dozens of protesters were killed and thousands of activists, opposition leaders and journalists arrested. The police said Friday that 16 people had been killed in live fire in Khartoum alone over the previous two days as NISS agents led a desperate last stand for Bashir before the army intervened.
Burhan was expected to meet protest organisers later on Saturday to hear their demands, opposition sources said. A photograph published by state news agency SUNA showed him talking with protesters outside army headquarters on Friday, before his elevation to the top job.
Khartoum erupted with joy when Ibn Ouf tendered his resignation barely 24 hours after taking the oath of office. Car horns sounded as jubilant crowds streamed out of their homes chanting: "It fell again, it fell again". -AFP