Thousands of Sudanese protesters performed the weekly Muslim prayers outside army headquarters on Friday, a day after a vast crowd of demonstrators flooded Khartoum to demand that military rulers cede power.
Protesters have massed outside the army complex in central Khartoum since April 6, initially to demand the overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir. But since his ouster by the army on April 11, the protesters have kept up their sit-in. Since al-Bashir's ouster, the protesters have expressed fears the military will cling to power and undermine all attempts to instate a civilian government in a country that lived for decades under military dictatorship. Despite international support for the protesters, the 10-member council has so far resisted, although three of its members resigned on Wednesday under pressure from the street. The protesters say they want a transitional council with "limited military representation" to run the country, along with an interim Cabinet until a new constitution is drafted.
Meanwhile, Shams al-Deen al-Kabashi, the spokesman for the military council, said late Thursday that the military will "maintain sovereign powers," while the Cabinet would be in the hands of civilians during the transitional period and until elections are held.
Protests first broke out on Dec. 19 in response to the tripling of bread prices, swiftly turning into nationwide rallies against al-Bashir's three-decade rule. Protesters, who were initially jubilant over word of the coup, reacted by saying they will not end their nearly weeklong sit-in outside the military's headquarters in central Khartoum until a civilian transition government is formed.