African Union To Suspend Sudan’s Membership If Military Council Not Removed
The African Union threatened to suspend Sudan’s membership unless an interim civilian government replaces the country’s ruling military council within the next 15 days. In a statement, the bloc stressed that it “strongly condemns and totally rejects the seizure of power by the Sudanese military,” and demanded that those in control “step aside and hand over power to a transitional civilian-led political authority.” The Sudanese army on April 11 forced strongman Omar al-Bashir to resign after 30 years in office. This followed months of anti-government protests and a nearly week-long sit-in outside the military’s Khartoum headquarters, where Bashir’s official residence is located. Bashir rose to power after leading a coup in 1989 and was one of the longest-serving presidents in Africa. The military council intended to govern the country through a transition period of up to two years, but protesters have remained on the streets. The United States considers Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism and declared support for the demonstrators.