Sudanese protest organizers say they will announce an interim ruling council they want to see take over from the military that ousted President Omar al-Bashir after months of street protests against him. "We will bring down military rule".
The arrests occurred amid protests led by the Sudanese Professionals Association made up of doctors and health workers, engineers, and teachers demanding the power be placed in a civilian government instead of a military takeover.
On April 11, the military removed President Omar Al Bashir after four months of protests against his three-decade rule.
However, it has refused to step aside and many Sudanese fear that the same elite of military officials and politicians is still in power behind the scenes.
Activists had called for large crowds to gather after weekly Muslim prayers, as on previous Fridays.
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The head of the 10-man military council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy are known for their ties to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, through Sudan's participation in the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.
"If we don't stay, it will be as if we hadn't done anything, we will stay until we oust the military council", 26-year-old protester Rania Ahmed told Reuters. "I won't leave until Burhan transfers power to a civilian government", said Wali Aldeen, who has camped outside the complex since the day Bashir was ousted.
The remarks appeared to clarify the United States position toward the military council's hold on the country, eight days after Mr Al Bashir was removed from office.
He is now held in Khartoum's Koper Prison, notorious for holding political prisoners under al-Bashir.
Mr Ortagus said Sudan was still labelled by the USA as a state sponsor of terrorism and Washington's policies toward it would be based on "our assessment of events on the ground and the actions of transitional authorities".
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She welcomed the release of political prisoners but urged the military to "show restraint, avoid conflict and remain committed to the protection of the Sudanese people".
In an official statement, state department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, "The will of the Sudanese people is clear: it is time to move toward a transitional government that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and the rule of law".
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington's short-term goal was to "get the military folks out of centre-stage" and "back to being responsible for security, nothing else".
But the State Department official said that none of the members of the new military council were under USA sanctions.
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