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Sudan's Bashir names VP, prime minister as protests continue

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrives to address members of the Popular Defence Force (PDF), a paramilitary group, in the capital Khartoum on February 12, 2019 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]
Ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrives to address members of the Popular Defence Force (PDF), a paramilitary group, in the capital Khartoum on 12 February, 2019 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]

Sudanese police fired teargas at demonstrators on Saturday as fresh protests broke out against the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, after he appointed a new prime minister and first vice president a day after declaring a state of emergency.

Police confronted dozens of protesters in the Shambat neighbourhood of Khartoum North, and similarly sized crowds in the Wad Nubawi and Abbasiya neighbourhoods of Omdurman, witnesses said.

Protesters in Shambat blocked a road and burned car tyres, witnesses said. Demonstrators chanted “Revolution is the people’s choice”, and other slogans, in Wad Nubawi. In Abbasiya chants included “Down, that’s it”, a rallying call that underlines their main demand for Bashir to go.

A statement from the president’s office said Mohamed Tahir Ayala, the governor of Gezira state who was previously touted by Bashir as a potential successor as president, was appointed prime minister.

Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, an ex-military intelligence chief, became first vice president, while retaining his defence portfolio.

Read: Sudan’s Bashir not to seek new term as president

Bashir had declared a one-year nationwide state of emergency on Friday and set up a caretaker administration. He replaced all state governors with military officials.

In a televised speech he urged his opponents to join a “path of national reconciliation” and dialogue. He called on parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to seek another term in 2020, but stopped short of saying explicitly he would not run.

There was no sign Friday’s speech had calmed the streets. Protests continued late into the night across the capital Khartoum. Stones and debris from burned tyres and branches littered many streets on Saturday.

The National Consensus Forces, one of the main opposition groups, said the state of emergency was aimed at countering a “popular revolution” and vowed to push ahead until Bashir is toppled.

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