Sudan’s second new military leader, Abdul Fattah Burhan accepted the resignation of feared intelligence chief, Awad Ibn Auf on Saturday, April 13 as he faced calls at home and abroad for a swift handover to civilian rule.
Burhan took the helm of Sudan’s transitional military council on Friday when his short-lived predecessor General Awad Ibn Ouf — a close aide of ousted president Omar al-Bashir — quit in the face of persistent protests.
He now has the tough task of persuading the tens of thousands of protesters who remain on the streets that he is not just another general from the Bashir regime but is genuinely committed to civilian-led reform.
The new leader accepted the resignation on Saturday of the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service, Salih Ghosh, the military council announced.
Ghosh had overseen a sweeping crackdown led by NISS agents against protesters taking part in four months of mass demonstrations that led to the toppling of Bashir in a palace coup by the army on Thursday.
Dozens of protesters were killed and thousands of activists, opposition leaders and journalists arrested.
The police said Friday, April 12 that 16 people had been killed in live fire in Khartoum alone over the previous two days as NISS agents led a desperate last stand for Bashir before the army intervened.
Burhan was expected to meet protest organisers later on Saturday to hear their demands, opposition sources said.
Khartoum erupted with joy when Ibn Auf tendered his resignation barely 24 hours after taking the oath of office.
Car horns sounded as jubilant crowds streamed out of their homes chanting: “It fell again, it fell again”.
But the organisers of the four months of mass protests that have now toppled two leaders in quick succession, called on demonstrators to keep up their week-old vigil outside army headquarters until Burhan reveals his true colours.