Why Sudan's coup leader stepped down?

APA-Khartoum (Sudan)

Sudan's coup leader has bowed to popular pressure and stepped down barely 48 hours after helping to topple long-term ruler Omar al-Bashir, reports said on Saturday.

In a twist to the coup saga, Awad Ibn Auf, a former defense minister under Bashir, announced his decision to quit on state media, saying it was to ensure the cohesion of the security system and the armed forces in particular from bloody cracks or deadly strife.

He named ground forces commander, General Abdo-alfath Al-borhany as his immediate successor.

It comes as thousands of protesters took to the streets across Sudan to demand his resignation after the formation of a transitional military council which would oversee the return to constitutional rule in two years.  

It’s clear that Auf was not only rejected by public opinion but also by a cross section of the army where he is seen as a compromised choice to replace Bashir who mentored him.

Shortly after his ascendancy was confirmed, words had seeped from the army through to the crowds of protesters camped outside the army's headquarters that he was a compromised choice given his very close ties to Bashir.

The army was behind his move to sweep Bashir aside after being at the helm for thirty years but reluctant to back him as leader of the transition, signalling a new paradigm shift by the military.  

Following this realization, celebrations over Bashir's ouster was short-lived as protesters considered him ”an old face of the regime" who will not readily touch base with the sentiments of ordinary people and their demand for a return to civilian rule in the shortest possible time.

And such was Auf's unpopularity that after he announced stepping down along with his deputy, Gerneral Kahmal Abdo-maroof, thousands took to the streets across Sudan to dance in celebration.

General Abdo-alfath Al-borhany, the new man in charge will come under scrutiny from the public and should he be found to be a bonafide face of Bashir's rule, Sudanese who have now tasted people power may test the resolve of the new military council yet again.

In the meantime, Sudan's political future hangs in the balance.


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