Sudan army removes leader, rejects al-Bashir extradition

The speech came after the resignation of feared security chief Gen Salah Gosh hours after the coup leader himself, Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf, stepped aside.

Mr Ibn Auf was head of military intelligence during the Darfur conflict and the USA imposed sanctions on him in 2007.

Strongmen in the Middle East and North Africa will be eyeing warily popular protests, fed by frustration with living standards and an elite perceived as corrupt, that helped push veteran Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and now Sudan's Omar al-Bashir from power.

They refused to leave the streets, saying the coup leaders were too close to Bashir.

"He's never been in the limelight like Ibn Ouf or General Kamal Abdelmarouf", the officer said, referring to the army's former chief of staff.

It came after the military council said Sudan's overthrown president Omar al-Bashir would not be extradited but could instead be tried in his own country.

The protesters have said they will remain in the streets until a civilian transitional council is formed.

The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), a leading group in the protest campaign that began late past year against Bashir, called ibn Auf and Mahi's resignation a "victory for the will of the masses".

The African Union said Bashir's overthrow by the military was "not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people". On Friday, ICC judges rejected a request by the court's prosecutor to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and alleged crimes by U.S. forces there, in part because the U.S., Afghan government and Taliban are not expected to cooperate.

The military leaders who carried out a coup in Sudan on Thursday have sought to reassure people that their only concern is public order.

Few see him handing over power to a civilian government after the promised two years of transition although he said his government would have 'representation of the people'.

The Foreign Ministry advised Malaysians travelling to Sudan to delay their plans after unrest surfaced yesterday over the detainment of long-time authoritarian ruler President Omar al-Bashir and the dissolution of the country's National Consensus Government.

Organisers of the protests that have rocked Sudan since December vowed to press on until the whole regime was swept aside.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Professionals Association, the umbrella group at the forefront of the protests, urged demonstrators to continue a seven-day sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.

Bashir, 75, seized power in a 1989 military coup. As many as 38 people have died in the protests.

On Saturday, Sudanese TV reported the resignation of Gen Gosh, head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) which has powerful forces within the capital.

Thousands of protestors were staging a sit-in for the sixth night running outside Khartoum army headquarters as the military council's curfew began at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) despite growing worldwide pressure to hand over to civilian rule.

Burhan, the new head of the transitional military council, was the inspector general of the Sudanese armed forces and its third most senior general.

The transitional period will last for a maximum of two years, he noted. People chanted: "The second has fallen!" a reference to Ibn Auf and Bashir, witnesses said.

  • Tracy Klein