(Asharq Al-Awsat) – Sudan’s military council on Monday said it was restructuring the military command council and appointed Colonel General Hashem Abdel Muttalib Ahmed Babakr as army chief of staff.
Colonel General Mohamed Othman al-Hussein was appointed as deputy chief of staff, the council said in a statement.
The appointment came as Sudanese protesters moved to block an attempt on Monday to break up a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry, where demonstrators have been pushing for a quick transition to civilian rule after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted, a Reuters witness said.
Troops had gathered on three sides of the sit-in and tractors were preparing to remove stone and metal barricades, but protesters joined hands and formed rings around the sit-in area to prevent them.
The protesters chanted “Freedom, freedom” and “Revolution, revolution”, and appealed to the army to protect them.
Earlier, Sudan’s main protest group, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), issued an urgent call for people to join the sit-in and foil any attempt to disperse it.
“We hope that everyone will head immediately to the areas of the sit-in to protect your revolution and your accomplishments,” the SPA said.
The sit-in outside the compound, which also includes the intelligence headquarters and the presidential residence, began on April 6, after more than three months of protests triggered by a deepening economic crisis.