Sudanese Defence Minister, Lt Gen Awad Ahmed Ibn Auf, has been sworn-in as interim president of Sudan, and Lt Gen Kamal Abdelmaarouf, Chairman of the Joint Staff Command sworn-in as Vice-President. The opposition denounces the ‘palace coup’ as ‘more of the same’, and urges the public to maintain protests and vigils.
Ibn Auf and Abdelmaarouf took their Oaths of Office at the Headquarters of the Sudanese Armed Forces this evening, presided over by Chief Justice of Sudan, and president of the Supreme Court, Justice Abdelmajid Idris.
Ibn Auf is the head of the Supreme Security Committee, formed of senior army officers, who have deposed President Al Bashir, and placed him under arrest ‘in a safe place’. The Supreme Security Committee has assumed interim control over Sudan, with a pledge to lead the country to free and fair elections before the expiry of this period. According to reports by Al Jazeera, more than 100 aides and 'others close to Al Bashir' have been arrested. No names or details are available at time of publishing.
Lt Gen Ibn Auf previously served as Head of Military Intelligence, and Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before he was appointed Minister of Defence in August 2015. On February 22, when President Al Bashir announced the State of Emergency in the country and dissolved the government (for the third time within one year), Ibn Auf was appointed Vice-President as well.
In May 2007, Ibn Auf was placed on the list of Sudanese individuals sanctioned by the USA because of his alleged role as a liaison between the Sudanese government and the various militias (Janjaweed) in Darfur. He allegedly coordinated Janjaweed operations leading to bombing attacks on civilians and villages, mass rape, and forced displacement.
The signatories to the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a broad coalition of opposition parties including the Sudanese Professionals Association, a major force behind the Sudan Uprising, have rejected the seizure of power by Sudan’s military, and called on the public to maintain the protests and sit-ins.
Many opposition commentators are unimpressed by today’s events, saying that to the Sudanese public, the ‘palace coup’ in Khartoum simply represents ‘more of the same’.
The Sudan Armed Forces have alerted citizens that the curfew will be imposed from 10 pm to 4 am, calling on the public to abide by it “in order to maintain their safety and avoid the dangers that may result from non-compliance with the curfew”.
In a report via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) the army draws the attention of the public “to take care of the decision, so that the armed forces and the security committee be able to maintain public security and the lives and property of citizens”.
According to the latest reports from Khartoum received by Radio Dabanga, the bulk of the participants in the sit-in at the General Command of the army in Khartoum have indicated their intention to ignore the curfew, and comply with the call by the organisers of the campaign of mass action, that began in December 2018, to maintain the protests and sit-ins.
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