Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 August 2019

Sudan’s Omar Al Bashir moved to maximum security prison in Khartoum

Since being removed from office on April 11, the former president had been under heavy guard at a presidential residence

Sudanese demonstrators gather during a rally outside the army complex in Khartoum on April 16. AFP
Sudanese demonstrators gather during a rally outside the army complex in Khartoum on April 16. AFP

Sudan's deposed president Omar Al Bashir has been transferred to a maximum-security prison, a week after being forced from office by the military.

Mr Al Bashir was moved to Kobar prison in the capital, Khartoum, late on Tuesday, his family told Reuters.

He was removed from power on April 11 after four months of mass rallies against his three-decade rule, then held under heavy guard in a presidential residence.

Deposed Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has been held at a presidential residence since being removed from power on April 11. Reuters
Deposed Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has been held at a presidential residence since being removed from power on April 11. Reuters

On Wednesday, Sudan's military rulers revealed they had also detained two of Mr Al Bashir's five brothers, Abdallah and Abbas.

Meanwhile, Uganda said it would consider offering asylum to Mr Al Bashir, although he had not yet asked.

"Uganda would not be apologetic at all for considering an application by Bashir," Okello Oryem, Uganda's Minister of State for International Affairs, told Reuters.

Mr Oryem said there was no harm in considering offering asylum to Mr Al Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court over the deaths of about 300,000 people in the western Darfur region more than a decade ago.

Uganda, like all signatories to the ICC, is obliged to hand over anyone wanted by the court who enters its territory.

Sudan's new leadership has said it has no intention of sending Mr Al Bashir to The Hague.

The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which has led the demonstrations against Mr Al Bashir, this week told the Military Transitional Council to hand control over to a civilian-led government or face sustained protests.

Lt Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, the new head of the military body overseeing the transition, has contacted protest organisers and said a return to civilian leadership could happen within months, but no longer than two years from now.

Gen Al Burhan has released protesters arrested since December and vowed to “uproot” Mr Al Bashir's party, the National Congress.

But those behind the popular movement say it is not enough.

The military council fired the country’s three highest-ranking public prosecutors on Tuesday evening after calls from protesters for a major overhaul of the judiciary.

They were chief prosecutor Omar Abdelsalam, deputy public prosecutor Hesham Saleh and the head of public prosecutions, Amer Majid.

Alwaleed Mahmoud was appointed to carry out Mr Abdelsalam's duties, the protest organisers said.

Mr Mahmoud's background was not immediately known.

A Sudanese woman flashes the victory sign while protesting during a rally outside the army complex in the capital Khartoum on April 16. AFP
A Sudanese woman flashes the victory sign while protesting during a rally outside the army complex in the capital Khartoum on April 16. AFP

A delegation from Saudi Arabia and the UAE met Gen Al Burhan in Khartoum on Tuesday, the military council said.

During the meeting, he "praised the distinguished relationship between Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE", the council said.

As chief of Sudan’s army, Lt Gen Burhan oversaw Sudanese troops fighting in the Yemen conflict and has close ties to senior Gulf military officials.

The UAE, a member of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen, welcomed Lt Gen Burhan’s appointment and said it would look to accelerate aid to Sudan.

Shortly after he took office, Riyadh said it would provide wheat, fuel and medicine to Sudan.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi also called Lt Gen Al Burhan on Tuesday to offer his backing.

Mr El Sisi's spokesman said the president had repeated "Egypt's full support for the security and stability of Sudan and its support for the will and choices of the Sudanese people".

The military council said Mr El Sisi was expected to visit Sudan in the coming days.

The African Union's peace and security council on Monday called for the military leaders to transfer power to a civilian-led authority within 15 days or risk being suspended from the bloc.

On Monday in Addis Ababa, where the African Union is based, military council member Jalal Al Sheikh said it was already in the process of picking a prime minister for civilian rule, ahead of elections promised within two years.

Updated: April 18, 2019 03:32 AM

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