Sudan’s ruling military council has announced a raft of concessions aimed at appeasing protesters calling for a civilian-led transition to democracy following the overthrow of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.
Shams Eldin Kabashi, a spokesman for the council, vowed on Sunday to restructure the widely feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), a key demand from the political parties and movements behind the months-long protests that triggered Bashir’s removal by the armed forces.
Activists accuse NISS forces of violently cracking down on protests as well as an ongoing sit-in outside the army headquarters, killing dozens of protesters and wounding hundreds more.
Kabashi said the council has appointed Lieutenant General Abu Bakr Mustafa to head the NISS following the recent resignation of Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, known as Salah Gosh.
He also announced the removal of General Awad Ibn Auf from his post as defence minister.
The general had initially assumed power, taking oath as the head of a military council that he said would rule the country for a two year-transitional period, but was forced to step down a day later in the face of mass protests for a civilian-led transitional administration.
Ibn Auf was replaced by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who pledged on Saturday to “uproot the regime” of al-Bashir, release detained protesters and hold talks with all political parties and groups behind the months-long protests.
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Hours later, a 10-member delegation representing the protesters delivered their demand to the council. They included an immediate handover of power to a civilian-led body, reforms to the NISS and release of protesters.