Sudan’s army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has said that he will not participate in any government that comes after a transition period and denied that the army was responsible for the deaths of protesters who were demonstrating against the seizure of the Military power.
Anti-coup protests across the country have taken place since the army took power on October 25, but have been met with deadly repression.
At least 14 protesters have been killed and some 300 injured, according to the independent Sudanese Central Committee of Doctors.
“It is our promise, a promise we made to ourselves, to the Sudanese people, and to the international community, that we are committed to completing the democratic transition, holding elections on time, and not stopping any political activity as long as it is peaceful. , and within the limits of the constitutional declaration and the parts that have not been suspended, ”al-Burhan told Al Jazeera in comments broadcast on Sunday.
“We are committed to handing over power to a civilian government of national jurisdiction and we are committed to preserving the transition from any interference that may hinder it,” he continued.
Al-Burhan also denied that the army was responsible for the deaths of protesters.
“The Sudanese army does not kill citizens, and there are investigative committees to reveal what happened,” he said.
The interview was broadcast as anti-coup demonstrations continued in the capital Khartoum and several other cities, increasing pressure against the military amid the continuing political crisis.
Dozens of teachers demonstrated against the army in front of the Ministry of Education in Khartoum. According to the teachers union, at least 80 protesters were arrested in Khartoum on Sunday. There were no reports of casualties.
Al Jazeera’s Resul Serdar, who spoke to Burhan, said the general said that people have the right to protest peacefully.
Burhan said talks are ongoing with political parties and figures, including deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. [regarding] reach a consensus to form a government, ”Serdar said, speaking from Khartoum.
“He said he hopes to reach an agreement in the next 24 hours, despite various obstacles.”
Tear gas fired as protests continue
Earlier on Sunday, Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at several anti-coup rallies, and protesters in several cities joined a call for two days of civil disobedience and a strike campaign to protest against the military takeover of the month. last.
Calls for civil disobedience were led by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), a group of unions that were also instrumental in the protests that led to the ouster of veteran strongman Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
“The Sudanese people have rejected the military coup,” the SPA said, promising “no negotiation, no association.”
The SPA’s appeals for civil disobedience were distributed via text messages, to avoid internet outages since the coup.
Hundreds of anti-coup protesters demonstrated in Khartoum, as well as in its sister city of Omdurman, Wad Madni to the south and the northern city of Atbara.
“The authority belongs to the people,” they chanted and “no, not to the military government,” as they demanded a “civil government.”
“Demonstrators took barricades in the streets, set car tires on fire, shouted against the military regime and chanted that civil government is the people’s choice,” said Hoda Othman, who witnessed the protests in Omdurman.
The military takeover sparked international condemnation, including cuts in punitive aid and demands for a speedy return to civilian rule.
Al-Burhan insists that “it was not a coup” but a move to “rectify the course of the transition.”
On Sunday separately, a high-level Arab League delegation held separate talks with al-Burhan and the deposed civilian leader, Abdalla Hamdok, on “the importance of the military-civilian partnership” and ways to “resolve the issues. disagreements “.
Hamdok, who is still under house arrest at his residence in Khartoum, has insisted on releasing government officials and politicians detained in connection with the coup. He also wants “guarantees” that the military will revert to pre-coup power-sharing agreements, the official said.
On Thursday, the military released four civilian members of the government, but key officials are still in detention.