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Bashir's former ruling party barred from transitional government, will take part in future elections

Thousands of Sudanese continue to protest against martial rule [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 15 April, 2019

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Sudan's former ruling party will not be allowed to participate in a transitional government, but will be allowed to participate in elections in the future, the military has said.

Sudan's ruling transitional military council announced on Sunday that the country's former ruling party would not be allowed to participate in the transitional government.

The country's military took power in a coup on Thursday after months of mass peaceful protests against former president Omar al-Bashir and the Sudanese regime.

"The former ruling National Congress Party (NCP) will not participate in any transitional government," Shams al-Din Kabashi, a spokesman for the council, said on Sunday according to the Sudan Tribune.

While NCP representatives have participated in discussions between Sudan's political parties and the transitional military council, the party will have to wait until Sudan holds national elections to seek power again, Kabashi said.

Members of various political parties, including former ruling party officials, met with representatives of the transitional military council this weekend.

They were urged to choose an "independent" prime minister and select members for a civilian-led government by Lieutenant General Yasser al-Ata, a member of the council.

Despite those efforts to include all strands of the political spectrum, Kabashi stressed that the military was proceeding with efforts to arrest former regime leaders suspected of corruption.

Those leaders would be named at a later date, the spokesman said.

The military has already said it has placed Bashir under house arrest, and announced on Sunday evening that it arrested a number of leading NCP figures.

Kabashi also said that members of the army who had been arrested for their involvement in protests against the regime had been released, in addition to two Sudanese activists who had been arrested last year after having been extradited from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The head of the party's political sector Abdel Rahman al-Khidir, former Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud, former Presidential Affairs Minister Fadl Abdallah, and head of the party's youth sector Mohamed al-Amin were arrested on Sunday.

An existing Anti-Corruption Commission is also set to be restructured under the transitional military council, Kabashi claimed.

He added that the council was planning to review Sudan's diplomatic missions, including the country's ambassadors to the US and Switzerland.

Mohammed Ata, Sudan's ambassador to Washington, is a former head of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) which has been faced with long-running accusations of human rights abuses and torture, as well as more recent allegations of the torture and killing of protesters.

Sudan's ambassador to Geneva, Mustafa Osman Ismail, is a former foreign affairs minister and presidential advisor.

Many of Sudan's protesters are sceptical of claims that the military will prosecute leading NCP figures and work to dismantle the regime apparatus.

"The presence of the NCP in its name is not necessary, as the NCP and the military council are one and the same," Maaz Hmeda, an unemployed Sudanese graduate told The New Arab.

"There is no military officer up until the rank of lieutenant general who was not a part of the NCP which penetrated... and managed all sectors of society. Its involvement in the transitional government is represented by the military council itself."

The selection of figures close to the regime such as Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, widely known as Himeidti, as representatives of the council flies in the face of those claims, activists say.

Himeiditi is the current deputy leader of Sudan under the new transitional military council, in addition to being the leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The RSF is a paramilitary anti-insurgency and border police force and one of several forces descending from the Janjaweed militias, who are accused of leading campaigns of mass rape, murder and ethnic cleansing in the Darfur conflict.

Under Himeidti, the RSF itself has been accused of a variety of abuses against ethnic minorities in Sudan's conflict zones - Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile - and refugees.

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