Burhan says he will not be part of the Sudan government after the transition | News from the government

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The head of the Sudanese army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said he will not participate in any government that will come after a transitional period and denied that the army is responsible for the deaths of the demonstrators who rallied against the military acquisition.

The nationwide anti-coup protests have taken place since October 25 when the military took power, but have been met with deadly crackdowns.

According to the Independent Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, at least 14 protesters were killed and around 300 injured.

“It is our commitment – a commitment we have made to ourselves, the Sudanese people and the international community – that we commit ourselves to complete the democratic transition, to hold elections on time and not to stop any political activity as long as it is peaceful, and within the limits of constitutional declaration and the parties that have not been suspended, “al-Burhan told Al Jazeera in comments broadcast on Sunday.

“We are committed to handing over power to a civilian government of national competence and we are committed to preserving the transition from any interference that may hinder it,” he continued.

Al-Burhan also denied that the army is responsible for the demonstrators’ deaths.

“The Sudanese army does not kill citizens, and there are commissions of inquiry to reveal what happened,” he said.

The interview was broadcast as anti-coup demonstrations continued in the capital, Khartoum and several other cities, increasing pressure on the military as the political crisis continues.

Dozens of teachers rallied against the army outside the ministry of education in Khartoum. According to the teachers’ union, at least 80 protesters were arrested in Khartoum on Sunday. There have been no reports of casualties.

Resul Serdar of Al Jazeera, who spoke to Burhan, said the general said people have the right to protest peacefully.

Burhan said talks are underway with political parties and personalities including ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok [regarding] reach a consensus to form a government, “said Serdar, speaking from Khartoum.

“He said he hopes to reach an agreement within the next 24 hours, despite several obstacles.”

Tear gas fired as protests continue

Earlier on Sunday, Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at several anti-coup demonstrations, with protesters in several cities joining a two-day call for civil disobedience and a strike campaign to protest the military acquisition last month.

Appeals for civil disobedience were led by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella of trade unions that was also instrumental in the protests that led to the removal of longtime strongman Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

“The Sudanese people rejected the military coup,” the SPA said, promising “no negotiations, no partnerships”.

The SPA’s appeals for civil disobedience were disseminated via text messages, to circumvent the Internet outages in the aftermath of the coup.

Hundreds of anti-coup protesters gathered in Khartoum, as well as its sister city of Omdurman, Wad Madni to the south and the northern city of Atbara.

“Authority belongs to the people”, they sang and “no, no to the military government” while calling for a “civil government”.

“Protesters barricaded the streets, set car tires on fire, shouted at the military government and screamed that civilian government is the choice of the people,” said Hoda Othman, who witnessed the protests in Omdurman.

The military takeover sparked international condemnation, including punitive cuts in aid and calls for a swift return to civilian rule.

Al-Burhan insists it was “not a coup” but a move to “rectify the course of the transition”.

Separately on Sunday, a high-level delegation from the Arab League held separate talks with al-Burhan and the deposed civilian leader, Abdalla Hamdok, on “the importance of military-civil partnerships” and ways to “resolve disagreements”.

Hamdok, who is still under house arrest at his residence in Khartoum, has insisted on releasing detained government officials and politicians in connection with the coup. He also wants “guarantees” that the military will return to pre-coup power-sharing agreements, the official said.

On Thursday, the military released four civilian members of the government, but key officials are still detained.

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