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Canada calls for Sudan’s military to step aside

People gather to celebrate outside army headquarters after country's Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf announced he was stepping down as head of the country’s transitional military council in Khartoum, Sudan on 13 April 2019. [Stringer - Anadolu Agency]

Canada added its voice Friday to countries calling for the Sudanese military to step aside and allow a transition to a civilian-run government, Anadolu reports.

“We echo the statement of the African Union Commission that a military council goes against the principles of the African Union Charter,” Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, said in a statement.

“A transition to a civilian government is essential.”

Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf, the head of Sudan’s transitional military council, announced Friday that following the coup he led to depose leader Omar al-Bashir, he would step down.

But he also picked Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan as his successor, as the Sudanese constitution was suspended. Large demonstrations were held in the streets because people feared the military leaders were too close to Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes.

READ: Sudan’s intelligence chief resigns

The army has said it would stay in power for two years and then allow elections to determine Sudan’s future.

Sudan's military removes al-Bashir - Cartoon [Arabi21]

Sudan’s military removes al-Bashir – Cartoon [Arabi21]

But Canada and others said the Sudanese people deserve to have their will served now.

“Canada commends the people of Sudan for their determination to make their voices heard since the beginning of peaceful demonstrations in December 2018,” the statement said.

Protests were held against Bashir due to rising prices.

“We call on Sudanese authorities to reverse the suspension of the constitution, lift the state of emergency and to release anyone detained in connection with the demonstrations.”

Global Affairs also said that the Embassy of Canada in Khartoum was closed for security reasons. However, Canada’s diplomatic and consular services are available.

But the department warned Canadians not to travel to Sudan for any reason.

READ: Sudan military denies coup is a bid for power 

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