Sudanese general seizes power 2 weeks after coup

KHARTOUM (AP) – Sudan’s senior general has reappointed himself as head of the interim military government in a sign that he is strengthening his grip on the country two weeks after leading the coup against civilian authorities.

There was no immediate reaction from pro-democracy groups to General Abdel-Fattah Burhan’s decision, announced on Sudanese state television.

The move comes amid repeated promises by the armed forces that they will hand over power to civil authorities. Since the October 25 coup, more than 100 government officials and political leaders have been detained, in addition to large numbers of protesters and activists. At least 14 protesters against the coup have died due to excessive force used by security forces, according to Sudanese doctors and the UN.

Sudan has been in the midst of a fragile transition since a pro-democracy uprising in 2019 toppled the autocrat Omar al-Bashir. The 11-member Sovereign Council was initially formed in the summer of 2019, after the armed forces signed a power-sharing agreement with the pro-democracy forces.

Several other members of the current council were also on the previous council that Burhan headed until it was dissolved in the coup. He also reappointed three other generals to the new council, according to state television.

Eight civilians were also appointed, including one from the previous council.

The agreement under which the council was formed after al-Bashir’s overthrow stipulated that it should include five civilians chosen by the activists, five military representatives chosen by the armed forces and a civilian member chosen in agreement by the two parties.

The composition of the new council does not meet the demands of important pro-democracy groups in the African country. The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, the main group behind the uprising that led to al-Bashir’s downfall, has said it will oppose Burhan’s reappointment to head the council.

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