UAE backs Sudan's transitional military ruler

A young Sudanese boy waves a national flag as people celebrate after an announcement made by Sudan's new military ruler in the Sudanese capital Khartoum

The rising cost of living was one of the main reasons for the months of protest that led to the end of former President Omar al-Bashir's 30 years in power.

The political parties and movements behind the four months of protests said in a joint statement late Saturday that they will remain in the streets until their demands are met.

Al-Burhan was "committed to having a complete civilian government and the role of the council will be to maintain the sovereignty of the country", the ministry said, adding that he meant to prepare an environment for political parties and civil society to build themselves up "in order to have a peaceful transition of power". The council met Saturday with a delegation of protest organizers.

However, opposition parties and the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) trade union were cautious about the developments, calling on people to stay in the squares until the regime handed power over to the civilians.

Thousands remained outside the army headquarters in the capital overnight to keep up the pressure on the military council that took power after ousting Mr Al Bashir on Thursday.

The council was "keen on maintaining global and regional relations with countries who have Sudan's best interests at heart", the foreign ministry said.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, has reportedly ordered an unspecified package of aid for Sudan that includes petroleum products, wheat, and medicine.

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Despite the fact that protesters do not accept military presence at the top of the government, Saudi Arabia has defended the presence of the militaries in Sudan.

The Alliance for Freedom and Change insists that civilian representatives should be accepted onto the military council, and that a fully civilian government should be formed to run daily administration. The council will also form a committee to take over the assets of al-Bashir's party, he added.

Earlier in the day, the new head of the ruling military council, in an address, pledged a civilian government in Sudan.

Sudan has seen two leaders toppled in two days after General Awad Ibn Ouf, who ousted longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir, was himself ousted after 24 hours. The protesters fear that the military, which is dominated by Al-Bashir appointees, will cling to power or select one of its own to succeed him.

"The steps taken by the army on Thursday, April 11, take the side of the people for the sake of freedom, peace and justice", the ministry said.

The face of the coup, ibn Ouf was himself head of military intelligence during the brutal campaign to suppress the Darfur insurgency.

Al-Bashir imposed a state of emergency in February, banning unauthorised public gatherings and granting sweeping powers to the police in efforts to quash the unrest. Protests sparked by price hikes on basic commodities erupted in December and quickly grew into a popular movement against the regime of Bashir. The events have stirred echoes of the Arab Spring uprisings that rocked the region from 2011. In Egypt, the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013 and authorities have since cracked down hard on dissent.

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