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Sudan’s Gen. Burhan says military will exit politics after 2023 elections

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Sudan’s military will exit politics after elections scheduled for 2023, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said on Saturday, adding that the deposed former ruling party would have no role in the transition.

Following a military takeover led by Mr Burhan in late October that upended Sudan’s transition to civilian-led democracy, a deal was struck on November 21 reinstating Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to lead a technocratic Cabinet until elections in July 2023.

“When a government is elected, I don’t think the army, the armed forces, or any of the security forces will participate in politics. This is what we agreed on and this is the natural situation,” Mr Burhan said.

The coup, which ended a partnership with civilian political parties after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir, drew international condemnation after the detention of dozens of key officials and crackdowns on protesters.

Neighbourhood resistance committees and political parties have called for the military to exit politics immediately and have rejected any compromise including the deal with Mr Hamdok.

At least 44 people have died during demonstrations, many from gunshot wounds from security forces, according to medics.

“Investigations regarding the victims of the protests have begun to identify who has done this … and to punish the criminals,” Mr Burhan said, adding that security forces had only dispersed non-peaceful protests.

Mr Bashir has been jailed since his overthrow on corruption and other charges, and along with several other Sudanese suspects, he is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes in Darfur.

The civilian government dissolved in the coup had approved Mr Bashir’s handover but the military has yet to agree.

“We have understandings with the International Criminal Court for the appearance (of suspects) before the judiciary or before the court,” Mr Burhan said.

“We have remained in dialogue with the court on how to do right by the victims,” he added. 

In the aftermath of the coup, many civilian bureaucrats were dismissed or transferred and replaced with Bashir-era veterans in decisions Hamdok has sought to reverse.

Mr Burhan said none of the political forces would be part of the transitional government, including those of Mr Bashir’s former ruling party.

“We will work together so that the National Congress Party will not be a part of the transition in any form,” he said.

(Reuters/NAN)

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