Sudan general steps down a day after leading coup

A day after leading the coup that toppled long-time leader Omar al-Bashir, the head of Sudan's military council has stepped down amid continuing protests.

READ: http://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/344570/sudan-military-announces-arrest-of-president-omar-al-bashir

General Awad Ibn Auf announced his resignation live on national television, naming Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Burhan as his successor.

The military has said it will oversee a two-year transition period, leading to elections.

But protest leaders say their action will continue until a civilian government is installed.

Senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, Allan Ngari joins Africa Melane to discuss the way ahead for Sudan.

The will of the people is once again trumping any decision on the regime that has been in power for the past 30 years, so when this military council installed itself it eviscerated all the work the Sudanese people had been fighting for since the beginning of December last year.

Allan Ngari, Researcher - Institute for Security Studies

It's a long road ahead - the military council is still in control... they are going to make way for a civilian authority where you'll have opposition parties represented as well, but this transition will not be successful if the military continues to hold on to power.

Allan Ngari, Researcher - Institute for Security Studies

Ngari points out that during 30 years of autocratic rule by Omar al-Bashir, it's been difficult for the opposition to thrive and do the work of calling government to account.

However, he says that a history of a strong civil society gives reason for hope.

We hardly know of opposition parties that have been leading the cause in terms of accountability for government.

Allan Ngari, Researcher - Institute for Security Studies

We know that there is a vibrant civil society, its space has also been closed, but it's as a result of civil society and civil action that we are where we are today in Sudan.

Allan Ngari, Researcher - Institute for Security Studies

I think there are groups that will be ready to take up the political space that has been created.

Allan Ngari, Researcher - Institute for Security Studies

Ngari says it's important for South Africa to continue to play a role in helping Sudan move forward.

Yesterday the United Nations Security Council discussed Sudan. South Africa is a member state . We are hoping South Africa will be strong in its statements in support of what is going on in Sudan. We do not expect otherwise.

Allan Ngari, Researcher - Institute for Security Studies

We think the foreign policy of South Africa will be able to support the transition.

Allan Ngari, Researcher - Institute for Security Studies

For more on what's being called a "second Arab Spring" listen below:


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