KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Officers who ousted President Omar al-Bashir from three decades in power have announced that a military council will run Sudan for a transitional period lasting up to two years, followed by elections.
But one day after Bashir’s overthrow, Awad Ibn Auf, Bashir’s defense minister and vice president, stepped down as the council’s head, and he said the council’s deputy head, Kamal Abdelmarouf al-Mahi, was also relieved of his position.Ibn Auf said that, after consultations, he chose Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman as the new head of the council.
No other members on the council were known other than its head and deputy head.
The head of the transitional military council’s political committee, Omar Zain al-Abideen, told a news conference earlier on Friday the announcement of the remaining members had been delayed for further consultations.
It remains unknown when the transitional military council’s members will be announced. No details have emerged about how many members will be on it or its make-up
Below are brief penpix of leading figures in Sudan’s security establishment:
ABDEL FATTAH AL-BURHAN ABDELRAHMAN
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman, the new head of the transitional military council, was the inspector general of the Sudanese armed forces and its third most senior general. He is little known in public life.
He was the head of Sudan’s ground forces, a role in which he oversaw Sudanese troops who fought in the Saudi-led Yemen war. He has close ties to senior Gulf military officials as he was responsible for coordinating Sudan’s military involvement in the war.
Awad Ibn Auf was defense minister since 2015, before Bashir promoted him to first vice president in February as protests against him intensified. He abruptly resigned as head of the transitional military council on Friday, about 24 hours after he was announced as its head.
He is widely believed to have strong ties to Islamists and is accused by the United States of being a liaison between the government and the Janjaweed militia, blamed for much of the atrocities in Darfur.
Washington placed sanctions on Ibn Auf and others in 2007 “for their roles in fomenting violence and human rights abuses in Darfur,” freezing his assets in the United States and banning Americans from doing business with him.
KAMAL ABDELMAROUF AL-MAHI
General Kamal Abdelmarouf al-Mahi was the Sudanese military’s chief of staff since February 2018 and is little-known in public life. Mahi, who is also thought to have close ties to Islamists, replaced Emad al-Din Adawi, who had been rumored as a possible successor to Bashir.
Ibn Auf said he was relieved of his role as deputy head of the transitional military council on Friday.
Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, commonly known as Salah Gosh, heads the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). He had also led the service between 2004 and 2009, and was reinstated in February 2018.
Gosh served as a security adviser to Bashir for two years before he was detained in 2012 and held for several months, accused of “inciting chaos”, “targeting” some leaders and spreading rumors about Bashir’s health.
The New York Times reported in 2005 that U.S. intelligence officials had allowed Gosh to visit the country for consultation with the CIA as a reward for Sudan’s cooperation in detaining suspected militants and providing information on al Qaeda following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known by his nickname Hemeti, is the head of the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group that grew out of the Janjaweed militia, which operated in Darfur. The government had denied any wrongdoing by the RSF.
Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Leslie Adler