Bashir ouster not military coup: Mahdi

Bashir ouster not military coup: Mahdi
Sudanese protesters gather near the military headquarters in Khartoum on Satruday.

Khartoum - Bashir was ousted by the army on April 11 after months-long protests that rocked his three-decade-old rule.

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Published: Sat 27 Apr 2019, 8:48 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Apr 2019, 10:51 PM

A top opposition leader called on Saturday for Sudan to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has indicted its ousted president Omar Al Bashir, as protesters and the military met to discuss civilian rule.
Sadiq Al Mahdi, a former prime minister and head of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP)that has backed the protests, also told reporters that the army's ouster of Bashir was "not a military coup".
His comments came as a joint committee representing the ruling military leadership and protesters held their first meeting to discuss a demand by demonstrators for a handover to civilian rule.
Bashir was ousted by the army on April 11 after months-long protests that rocked his three-decade-old rule.
Thousands of protesters reached the sprawling military headquarters in central Khartoum on April 6, demanding that the army support the demonstrations against Bashir.
Five days later, the army ousted Bashir but then took power into its own hands through a 10-member transitional military council.
The protesters, who have kept up the pressure round-the-clock outside army headquarters for weeks, are now demanding that the council step down and make way for a civilian government.
Mahdi, who said his party would not join a civilian transitional government, told reporters "it is possible to agree on a civilian authority with the military council because they did not plan a coup".
The armed forces had taken the side of the protesters demanding that Bashir be removed from power.
Mahdi also said Sudan should "immediately" join the Hague-based International Criminal Court where Bashir is wanted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the conflict in Darfur.
"This should be done in coordination with the transitional military council," he added.
Bashir, 75, has consistently denied the charges against him.
The war in Darfur erupted in 2003 when ethnic rebels took up arms against Khartoum's Arab-dominated government, accusing it of social and political marginalisation.

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