Sudan’s top general has appointed himself as head of interim government following the coup.
The move by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan along with other appointments he announced for the Sovereign Council was expected to anger Sudan’s pro-democracy protest movement, sidelined in the coup.
Since the Oct. 25 takeover, pro-democracy leaders have demanded the military relinquish power and refuse to be part of any administration in which a military maintains a role.
At least 14 anti-coup protesters have been killed due to excessive force used by the country’s security forces, according to Sudanese doctors and the United Nations.
The military removed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok who has since been under house arrest in the capital, Khartoum, as Western powers and U.N. diplomats try to mediate a resolution to the crisis.
Sudan’s culture and information minister, Hamza Baloul, who was arrested during the coup and later released, condemned the appointments. He described Thursday’s announcement of the new council as “an extension of the coup” and said pro-democracy protesters are right to refuse to negotiate with military leaders.
Along with rejecting internationally backed initiatives to return to a power-sharing arrangement with the military, the protest movement has also called for a nationwide strike.
Sudan has been in the midst of a fragile transition since a 2019 pro-democracy uprising led to the removal of Omar al-Bashir. The 11-member Sovereign Council was first formed in the summer of 2019, after the military signed a power-sharing deal with pro-democracy forces.