Burhan sworn in as chairman of Sudan's sovereign council

General Burhan sworn in as Sudan's new leader

Sudan protesters, army announce new ruling body after deal

The official SUNA news agency says Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan was sworn in before the country's top judge.

The Sovereign Council of Sudan has been formed, it will be sworn in on August 21, Shams El-Din Kabbashi, a spokesman for the country's Transitional Military Council (TMC), said Tuesday at a press conference in Khartoum, which was aired by Sky news Arabia.

Amidst the euphoria celebrating the promise of civilian rule, unease was palpable however within the protest camp that brought about one of the most crucial changes in Sudan's modern history.

A constitutional decree is expected to be issued later on Wednesday to dissolve the TMC, which has been running Sudan's affairs since the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

The Sovereign Council includes five military member and five civilians appointed by the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters.

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Both sides agreed on the appointment of a Coptic Christian judge, Raja Nicholas Issa, as the 11th member of the council.

He was sworn in along with 10 other members, a prime minister and a cabinet is due to be appointed next.

One reason is the omnipresence in the transition of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, a member of the sovereign council and a paramilitary commander whose forces are blamed for the deadly repression of the protests.

Protest leaders have nominated a well-known economist, Abdalla Hamdok, to serve as prime minister during the transition. He has been the deputy executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa since November 2011, but has yet to be confirmed by the Sovereign Council.

As a result of Wednesday's move, it was the first time that Sudan was not under full military rule since Bashir's coup d'etat in 1989. The military council will have the power to choose the interior and defence ministers.

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Along with overhauling the economy, the new administration would have to adapt "comprehensive reforms" to the judiciary in order to achieve "transitional justice", said Rasha Awad, editor of the online Sudanese newspaper Altaghyeer.

The head of Bashir's defence team, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir, said in July that the ousted leader's trial had no "political background".

Mass demonstrations initially erupted in Sudan in December over dire economic conditions but quickly turned into calls for al-Bashir to step down after three decades in power.

He is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s, but the Sudanese military has said it would not extradite him to The Hague.

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