Sudan appoints chairman of new transitional council

African Union chief Moussa Faki

Washington called on the military council "to exercise restraint and to allow space for civilian participation within the government". However, he said the defence and interior ministries would be under its control.

Thousands of protestors heeded the call to stage a sit-in outside Khartoum army headquarters in defiance of the curfew as pressure piled on the military council 's to hand over to civilian rule.

"Through consensus among political forces, we will not impose anything on the people", he said during a press conference.

"We are not greedy for power", he said.

Demonstrators who have been holding nearly daily anti-Bashir protests have rejected the decision to set up a transitional military council and vowed to continue protests until a civilian government is established. "The maximum is two years", he said.

A grab from a live broadcast of Sudan TV shows Sudanese Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf delivering a speech in Khartoum on April 12, 2019, announcing he is stepping down in favour of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdulrahman to succeed him. He had faced 16 weeks of demonstrations sparked by rising food costs, high unemployment and increasing repression during his three decades of autocratic rule.

They must first name two representatives and submit them on Saturday, it said.

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Ibn Auf is himself the target of sanctions from the USA due to his alleged role as a liaison officer between the Sudanese government and militias accused of carrying out the genocide in Darfur.

The military council had announced a two-year transition period, but Sudan's United Nations envoy told the Security Council in NY that this could be shortened "depending on developments on the ground and agreements between stakeholders". Sudanese sources told Reuters he was at the presidential residence under heavy guard.

The political committee will meet political parties and foreign diplomats during the course of Friday, state media reported.

Ibn Auf also announced in a televised statement the imposition of a one-month curfew - to take effect Thursday evening - along with a three-month nationwide state of emergency.

Earlier on Friday, throngs of Sudanese chanting "it will fall again, it will fall again" flocked there to hunker down for a second night defying the curfew, witnesses said.

Soon after the protests organised by the Sudanese Professionals Association began a week ago, a distressed Mr Bashir intimated to his inner circle that Mr Auf was his choice for a successor.

Protest organisers have called on the demonstrators to continue with the sit-in until their demands are met. When on December 19 a year ago, protesters chanting "No to hunger" marched through the streets in the northeastern town of Atbara in River Nile state - and the protests quickly spread to the capital, Khartoum - the response of Bashir's security apparatus was a textbook example of dictators' reaction: batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and live bullets. Some protesters brought in mattresses, fans and even air conditioners, while others swept the streets to keep them clean, signalling they intend to stay long-term.

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