Sudan protesters warn 'remnants of Bashir regime' still at work

Sudanese Christians from the Nuba Mountains

Last December, protests over a hike in bread prices erupted in Sudan and later escalated into nationwide demonstrations calling on President Omar Bashir to resign and end his 30-year rule.

Sudan's military rulers faced pressure from demonstrators and Western governments to hand power to a new civilian government Monday as activists warned of an attempt to disperse a 10-day-old mass protest outside army headquarters.

The SPA issued its demands hours after protesters blocked an attempt to break up a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry that has continued despite Bashir's departure, a Reuters witness said. "We appeal to everyone to head to the area to protect your revolution and gains".

Troops had gathered on three sides of the sit-in and tractors were preparing to remove stone and metal barriers, but protesters joined hands and formed rings around the sit-in area to prevent them.

The Association vowed to continue the sit-in outside the military complex until the achievement of the popular movement demands.

Sudan's principal protest group has demanded the immediate formation of a civilian-led government to replace the country's new ruling military council, warning that the demonstrators' "revolution" faces threat from "the remnants of the regime" of deposed leader Omar al-Bashir.

This dialogue needs to be done "credibly and swiftly", it said, adding that Sudan needs a political system that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and the rule of law.

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It said council chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was "committed to having a complete civilian government and the role of the council will be to maintain the sovereignty of the country".

At the news conference, the SPA said the military had promised to protect the sit-in.

Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting from Khartoum, said the recent concessions by Sudan's military rulers had failed to win over protesters, many of whom remain distrustful of the higher echelons of the country's armed forces due to their historical links to al-Bashir's former administration.

"The decision whether to extradite Bashir to ICC will be made by a popularly elected government and not the transitional military council", he said. The SPA has also called for the confiscation of properties belonging to the ousted president's National Congress Party and the release of soldiers who sided with their movement.

The sit-in outside the compound, which also includes the intelligence headquarters and the presidential residence, began on April 6, after more than three months of protests triggered by a deepening economic crisis.

In a televised address to the nation, Sudan's then-Defence Minister, Lieutenant General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, announced that al-Bashir - who had seized power himself in a 1989 coup - had been arrested and taken to a "safe" location. Ousted Omar al-Bashir is now in detention and is likely to face trial in Sudan.

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