Following Sudanese President Al-Bashir’s ouster on Thursday, April 11, there were speculations that the military will extradite the 75-year-old to face allegations of genocide at the international war crimes court. However, the military has noted that it would do no such thing, instead, Al-Bashir would go on trial in his home country.
According to General Omar Zain al-Abideen, the head of the military council’s political committee, “We as a military council in our term, will not hand the president over abroad. We may try him, but we will not hand him over.”
After 30 years in power, the armed forces in Sudan overthrew the president, forcing him to step down and placing him under house arrest in a “safe place”. Presently Sudan’s ruling military council, headed by Defence Minister Mohammed Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, stated that it expects a pre-election transition period as it works on forming a transitional government that would last two years at most or much less if chaos can be avoided.
This announcement is aimed at reassuring protesters who vowed to remain in the streets until the regime steps down completely and power is handed to a civilian transitional government, as well as those who have remained as a warning to the military, against imposing a military rule after Bashir’s overthrow.
Meanwhile, Auf’s reassurances came with the announcement a state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire, the suspension of the constitution and a national curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Al-Abideen, on the other hand, pledged that the military council would not interfere with the civilian government noted that the defence and interior ministries would be under the council’s control. “We are the protectors of the demands of the people, we are not greedy for power,” he said.
However, this did not quell the anger of the protesters who chanted, “They removed a thief and brought a thief!” Thousands of protesters challenged the military council by maintaining their positions in front of the defence ministry compound, and in other parts of the capital, as the curfew went into effect.
Demonstrators called for mass Friday prayers outside the defence ministry compound, a focal point for protests where they have already set up large tents for the growing crowd of people.