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Sudan’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan appoints new ‘Sovereign Council’

Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has formed a new transitional council, headed by himself, to lead the country following the military takeover late last month, state media reports.

The new 14-member Sovereign Council, for which one member is yet to be named, includes civilians representing Sudan’s regions but none from the Forces of Freedom and Change political coalition that had been sharing power with the military since 2019.

Burhan’s deputy will remain Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, with both men keeping roles they held before the coup.

The move is likely to harden opposition among civilian groups who have pledged to resist the takeover through a campaign of civil disobedience, strikes and mass rallies, the next of which is planned for Saturday.

Khartoum anti-military protests
Camera IconA military coup in Sudan has sparked protests demanding the restoration of a civilian government. Credit: AP

The council also includes representatives of rebel groups that reached a peace deal with the government last year but had rejected the coup in a statement this week.

The October 25 takeover ended a power-sharing arrangement between the military and civilians set up after the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019, that was meant to lead to elections in late 2023.

Some senior civilians have been detained and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been under house arrest.

The previous council had served as Sudan’s collective head of state, alongside Hamdok’s government which ran Sudan’s day-to-day affairs.

Burhan and Dagalo had been due to hand over its leadership to a civilian in the coming months.

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