Sudan Al-Burhan reconstitutes the Sovereignty Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change reject and announce the escalation of protests

Sudan Al-Burhan reconstitutes the Sovereignty Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change reject and announce the escalation of protests

Local and international reactions followed, after the Sudanese army chief, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan was sworn in as head of a new Sovereign Council yesterday evening, Thursday, and the United Nations mission considered that this step would make it difficult to restore the constitutional order.

French President Emmanuel Macron said - in a tweet on Twitter - that the current events in Sudan are "a source of grave concern," and called for the immediate release of "all those who represent the spirit and aspirations of the Sudanese revolution that should not be let down."

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Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward, also expressed deep concern about "reports that speak of more unilateral measures by the army, which contradict the spirit and letter of the constitutional declaration."

She added that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations was "very frank in his assessment that the window is now closed to dialogue and a peaceful solution."

Professor Volker Peretz is Director of the German Institute for Political and Security Studies.  Al Jazeera NetThe Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sudan, Volker Peretz, expressed his concern about the appointment of a new Sovereign Council (AJ news)

For its part, the United Nations mission said that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sudan, Volker Peretz, expressed his concern about the appointment of a new Sovereign Council.

The UN official considered that the "unilateral" appointment of the Sovereignty Council made it more difficult to return to the constitutional order, and called on the Sudanese army to take measures to reduce escalation and build confidence, as he put it.

Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan took the constitutional oath - Thursday evening - as head of the new Sovereignty Council, hours after he issued a decree forming it.

The official media broadcast pictures of Al-Burhan taking the oath before the Chief Justice, Maulana Abdul Aziz Fath Al-Rahman Abdeen.

The new board lineup
According to the decree issued by Al-Burhan, the Sovereignty Council includes 5 members from the military component, 3 members from the Revolutionary Front, and 5 members representing the regions.

The Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), retained his position as Vice-President of the Council, and the rest of the military members of the previous Council retained their membership in it.

The new lineup included 9 members who were in the previous council, and 4 new members who replaced the previous council members belonging to the Forces for Freedom and Change.

The nomination of the representative of eastern Sudan in the Sovereign Council has been postponed until "more consultations" are held, according to Sudanese TV.

Among the most prominent of the new members: Abu al-Qasim Bartam, who was a member of parliament during the era of ousted President Omar al-Bashir, and a businessman who runs companies working in agriculture and transportation.

Salma al-Mubarak, who has no political history, came to the council for the first time. She comes from an ancient Sufi family. She is the second woman in the Sovereign Council, alongside Raja Nicholas, a representative of the Coptic Christian minority who retained her membership.

With the formation of the new council, Al-Burhan issued a decision to end the freezing of articles that were suspended from the constitutional document, and pledged to respect this document.

For its part, the Forces for Freedom and Change - the National Charter Group expressed its support for Al-Burhan's steps, and its leader, Al-Senussi Muhammad - in an interview with AJ news - said that today's decision is an "important step in the framework of correction."

A call to escalate the protest
On the other hand, the Sudanese Professionals Association said - in a statement - "We affirm that the decisions of Al-Burhan and the coup council belong to them alone. They have no legitimacy and you will not find from the masses of our people anything but contempt and fierce resistance until their complete overthrow and their dumping in the dustbin of history where they belong."

In an interview with AJ news, Walid Ali, a spokesman for the assembly, said that Al-Burhan's procedures were unconstitutional, and that the assembly would continue to escalate.

He added that they will stand as an impenetrable dam against all coup measures, and that the Sudanese street will continue to resist all these measures, as he put it.

In the same context, Hamza Balloul, Minister of Information in the ousted government and its spokesman, said that the decision to form the new Sovereign Council represents an "extension of the coup measures," adding that the people are able to defeat the coup and complete the process of democratic transition.

Balloul believed that this decision confirms the correctness of the position of the forces of freedom and change, "rejecting dialogue with the putschists."

Night demonstrations took place in several neighborhoods in the capital, Khartoum, in the first reaction to the announcement of the formation of the Sovereignty Council, where the protesters carried national flags, chanted slogans denouncing Al-Burhan's decision, and closed some streets with concrete barriers and burning tires.

Prior to the announcement of the decree, Khartoum witnessed protest vigils rejecting the army's seizure of power, and a prelude to participating in mass demonstrations next Saturday called by the Sudanese Professionals Association.

Since last October 25, Sudan has been experiencing a crisis as a result of Al-Burhan declaring a state of emergency, dissolving the Sovereignty Councils and the transitional ministers, and releasing the governors, following the arrest of party leaders, ministers and officials, in exchange for continuous protests that reject these measures as a “military coup.”
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