BBC | Sudan army chief says soldiers ‘will not attack protesters’

The head of Sudan’s military transitional council has told the BBC the army will not use force against protesters who want it to leave power.

Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan spoke as African leaders extended their ultimatum for the military to organise a return to civilian rule.

The army had warned it would remove protesters camped outside its headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

President Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power on 11 April after 30 years.

Protesters accuse the military of being “remnants” of the ousted long-time ruler.

Leaders of the protest movement have suspended transition talks and co-operation with the military because they doubt its sincerity to hand over power.

A mass sit-in outside the military HQ has been taking place since 6 April. Five days later Mr Bashir was overthrown and replaced by a military council that promised it would relinquish power to civilians within two years, a proposal rejected by protesters.

Lt-Gen Burhan told the BBC HARDTalk programme that the military had taken control to ensure security in the country.

“Protesters have a right to demonstrate anywhere, and we want to reach an agreement [to hand over power], we are not here to stay. The army will go back to the barracks,” he said.

He added that he was willing to hand over power within days if a consensus can be reached with civilian groups.

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