One month after ousting veteran president Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s military rulers show no sign of handing power to a civilian administration and talks with protest leaders remain deadlocked.
Thousands of protesters remain encamped outside army headquarters in central Khartoum, vowing to force the generals to cede power just as they forced Bashir from office.
“We want civilian rule or we will stay here forever,” said protester Iman Hussein, a regular at the sit-in which protesters have kept up since April 6.
Protesters initially gathered at the army complex to seek the generals’ help in ending Bashir’s three decades of iron-fisted rule.
On April 11, the army toppled Bashir in a palace coup replacing him with a military council formed entirely of generals that has shattered protesters’ dreams of a civilian-led transition to democracy.
The deepening economic crisis that fuelled the four months of nationwide protests which led to Bashir’s ouster shows no sign of abating.
Huge queues form daily at ATM machines as the freezing up of the banking system forces consumers to use cash to buy basic goods made ever more expensive by the sliding value of the Sudanese pound.
The generals insist they will not use force to disperse the sit-in which protesters have kept up through the daytime fasts observed by Muslim during the holy month of Ramadan.
The generals have offered several concessions to placate the protesters, including detaining Bashir in Khartoum’s Kober prison, arresting several of his lieutenants and promising to prosecute officers who killed protesters during the demonstrations against the old regime.
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But when it comes to the protesters’ key demand for a civilian authority to oversee a four-year transition, the military has simply dragged its heels.