Awad Ibn Auf has been a long-serving member within the military hierarchy with a long history of service as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and was head of military intelligence and security during the bloody conflict in the Darfur region, which began in 2003.
The bloody Darfur conflict claimed more than 300,000 lives based on a release by the United Nations.
In 2009, the International Criminal Court indicted al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, while Ibn Auf was sanctioned by the United States for supporting and managing militias accused of carrying out genocide in the conflict.
For their roles in “fomenting violence and human rights abuses in Darfur”, the US Treasury Department in 2007 blocked Ibn Auf’s assets, along with two other Sudanese officials.
Following his retirement from the army in 2010, as part of an institutional shake-up, Ibn Auf took a diplomatic role at the ministry of foreign affairs.
He spent time in diplomatic posts in Egypt and Oman, before returning to the heart of the Khartoum political establishment in 2015, when he was appointed by al-Bashir as defence minister.
In early February, following months of massive, nationwide street demonstrations against al-Bashir’s government, Ibn Auf adopted a sympathetic tone towards those on the streets, noting the young people involved in the protests had “reasonable ambition”.
On February 23, as protests continued across Sudan, al-Bashir declared a state of emergency, dissolving the country’s central and state governments and appointing a series of military figures as state governors.
As part of the wider measures, Ibn Auf was appointed a first vice president, while also retaining his defence portfolio.
Watch the video of Ibn Auf below as he addressed the Sudanese citizenry: