Protests Continue in Sudan and Algeria as People Reject Transitional Govts


L-R: Ousted President's Abdallaziz Bouteflika (Algeria) and Omar al-Bashir (Sudan)
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It seems normalcy will take sometime to return too both Algeria and Sudan as thousands of people, continue thronging the streets protesting against leaders of the transitional governments in their respective countries, after forceful departure of long serving presidents Abdallaziz Bouteflika and Omar Al-Bashir respectively.

Bouteflika who had earlier indicated that he was to contest for a fifth term, after ruling the North African country for two decades, was forced to resign by the military after months of nationwide protests last week and replaced with the speaker of the country’s upper house, Abdelkader Bensalah as an interim leader by Algeria’s lawmakers.

However, on Tuesday shortly after Bensalah’s appointment, thousands of people took to the streets of Algiers, singing songs and holding placards saying that he was not needed as the country’s head.

On Friday, huge numbers of people have again gathered in the capital asking him to step down, saying he was very close to former President Bouteflika, and as such, he is not the change they are demanding.

Meanwhile, the situation is not any different in Sudan where President Omar Al-Bashir was ousted and reportedly arrested in a “safe place” by the military on Thursday. Bashir had ruled Sudan for three decades.

While announcing the removal of Bashir, Vice President and Defence minister, Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf said: “The armed forces will take power with the representation of the people to pave a way for the Sudanese people to live in dignity and here I declare in my capacity as the defence minister, chairman of the supreme committee to get rid of this regime and to arrest the head of the regime in a safe place”.

He also declared the formation a transitional council headed by the military, to supervise the two year period, as well as suspending the country’s constitution.

A state of emergency was also declared for three months and a one month’s curfew from 10pm to 4am in the morning.

“Airspace is closed for 24 hours and all borders are closed until further notice.”

Now, today Friday, hundreds of people led by the Professionals Association, a body that championed the protests, are gathering at the military headquarters in Khartoum and on the streets opposing the announcements by the military.

They say, they want the whole regime including military officers in political leadership and Bashir’s ruling party to go.

They are demanding an immediate civil government. Protestors as well defied the curfew that was announced yesterday.

However, Omar Zain Abideen, the Chief of Military Political Council,  has said the Army has no intentions of remaining in power, saying there role is to peacefully grant the citizens their power, which they have for long demanded for.

“We have not come with solutions, the solutions will devised by those in protest and the citizens. You the people will provide solutions for all economic, political and social issues. We have come with no ideology, we are the people of the armed forces,” Abideen said.

“We have come here to maintain order, security and provide an opportunity for the people to achieve change they have been yearning for and to devise their own vision for the leadership,” he added.

“We have no ambitions at  all to hold the reigns of power”.

Reports from Sudan indicate the the military leadership in currently in talks with the heads of the Professionals Association and leaders of political parties in the country to forge away forward.

Some analysts say that if the protestors continue, the military is likely to revise the announcements made yesterday including reducing on the transitional period as well as appointing a civilian to lead and including more civilians in the transitional government.

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