Protests in Sudan are continuing despite army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan vowing to fast-track the forming of a civilian government.
The leader of the junta also said that he would not participate in any civilian government that comes after the transitional period. His plan was initially to organize elections in July 2023, after international and internal pressure he said that this had been accelerated.
When exactly it will take place remains unknown.
Nationwide anti-coup protests have taken place since the October 25 power grab by the army, but have been met by a violent crackdown.
At least 14 demonstrators have been killed and about 300 wounded, according to the independent Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.
“It is our pledge – a pledge we made to ourselves, the Sudanese people and the international community – that we are committed to completing the democratic transition, holding elections on time, and committed to not stopping any political activity as long as it is peaceful, and within the bounds of the constitutional declaration and the parts that have not been suspended,” al-Burhan said.
“We are committed to handing over power to a civilian government of national competency and we pledge to preserve the transition from any interference that can hinder it,” he continued.
Al-Burhan also denied the army was responsible for the deaths of protesters.
“The Sudanese army does not kill citizens, and there are investigation committees to reveal what happened,” he said.
The interview with Al Jazeera was broadcast as anti-coup rallies continued in the capital, Khartoum and several other towns, ramping up the pressure against the military amid the continuing political crisis.
On November 7th, Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at several anti-coup rallies, with protesters in several cities joining a call for two days of civil disobedience and a strike campaign to protest against last month’s military takeover.
The calls for civil disobedience were led by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the main opposition platform.
“The Sudanese people have rejected the military coup,” the SPA said, vowing “no negotiation, no partnership”.
The SPA’s appeals for civil disobedience were circulated via text messages, to bypass internet outages in place since the putsch.
Still, the junta’s leader Al-Burhan insists it “was not a coup” but a move to “rectify the course of the transition”.
General al-Burhan’s moves “came to correct the course of the people’s revolution, and preserve the security and stability of the country,” said General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, Burhan’s deputy on the now-dissolved Sovereign Council.
Separately, a high-level Arab League delegation held separate talks with al-Burhan and the deposed civilian leader, Abdalla Hamdok, on “the importance of the partnership between the military and civilians” and ways to “resolve the disagreements”.
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