KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan’s top general has promised that he won’t hold a government position after planned elections in 2023, two weeks after he toppled a transitional government in a widely condemned coup.
The military leader behind the takeover, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, has repeatedly promised to hand over power to an elected civilian government and says he will not be a part of it. His announcement that he will not run for office does not preclude other top generals from shedding their military titles and becoming candidates.
Late last month, the military dissolved the country’s transitional government and detained more than 100 government officials and political leaders and a large number of protesters and activists. Since then, at least 13 anti-coup protesters have been killed due to the excessive force used by the country’s security forces, according to Sudanese doctors and the UN. Yesterday, security forces tear-gassed demonstrators and rounded up more than 100 people, mostly anti-coup teachers in Khartoum.
In comments aired by the Al-Jazeera satellite television news network, Burhan also says that security forces are not responsible for the protesters’ deaths.
Burhan has maintained the military was compelled to take over because of quarrels between political parties that he claimed could lead to civil war. But the takeover also took place weeks before he was supposed to surrender power of the country’s top governing body to a civilian.