(Bloomberg) -- Pressure mounted on Sudan’s military rulers to cede power as the African Union echoed protesters’ calls for a swift handover to a civilian government in the wake of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir’s ouster.
Demonstrators kept up their carnival-like sit-in outside army headquarters in Khartoum, the capital, for an 11th day, despite an apparent bid to disperse them. The Sudanese Professionals Association, a driving force behind the four months of protests against al-Bashir, on Monday called for the immediate dissolving of the transitional military council and its replacement by a civilian body with army representatives.
The African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Monday said Sudan would face suspension from the bloc’s activities if the military council didn’t surrender power to a “civilian-led political authority” in 15 days. The transitional military council, which has already changed leaders since taking charge on April 11, has said it may rule for as long as two years.
The ouster of al-Bashir, in power since 1989 and one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers, followed protests across the oil-producing nation in which dozens of people were killed. Activists have vowed to keep demonstrating, saying Sudan’s new rulers are mostly stalwarts of al-Bashir’s regime and widespread change is needed.
The deputy head of the council is Mohamed Hamdan, leader of the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary unit accused of rights abuses. He said Monday that Sudan’s forces would remain in Yemen, where they’re part of a Saudi Arabia-led alliance fighting Houthi rebels, the state-run SUNA news agency reported.
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