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Sudan Sovereign Council Member Resigns, Accuses Military Leaders of Interference

FILE - Sudan's member of sovereign council Aisha Musa greets players before Sudan's first women's league soccer match at the Khartoum stadium, Khartoum, Sudan Sept. 30, 2019.
FILE - Sudan's member of sovereign council Aisha Musa greets players before Sudan's first women's league soccer match at the Khartoum stadium, Khartoum, Sudan Sept. 30, 2019.

A civilian member of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council has resigned, citing interference from military officials in the transitional government.

Aisha Musa Sayeed accused military leaders of sidelining civilians and making unilateral decisions affecting the entire country, including the recent use of force against peaceful protesters.

Sayeed told reporters at a weekend media briefing in Khartoum she tendered her resignation because the military component of the Sovereign Council ignores the views of other council members.

“Overriding constitutional powers has become a trait that cannot be ignored to the extent that the civilian component within the Sovereign Council and all other levels of governance became just a logistical executive body only. They don’t participate in decision making but only accept what has been agreed upon earlier,” said Sayeed.

Sayeed is the third high-ranking civilian in Sudan to leave their post in a week. Last week, Sudanese Attorney General Taj Al Sir Al Hibir resigned, citing interference from “unauthorized government agencies” in the public prosecutor’s office, which he called a clear violation of the law.

Also, Chief Justice Neimat Abdallah Mohammed Khair, the country’s first female chief justice, was removed from her post last week by the Sovereign Council without explanation.

Khair’s removal and Al Hibir’s resignation came days after Sudanese security forces shot and killed peaceful protesters marking the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of the Sudanese revolution in Khartoum.

The Sovereign Council was established as Sudan’s ruling body after the ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Sayeed was appointed to the 14-member council as one of two female members that October.

One of the key tasks of the transitional period was to ensure that justice is served for families of those killed and injured during the Sudanese revolution. But the country’s military leaders have placed obstacles in the path of justice, according to Sayeed.

“This period needs practical steps towards laying down laws that guarantee justice and establishment of a professional constitutional court that is able to protect the constitution against all interference. We would like to see all working towards initiating a constitutional conference that will guarantee a permanent and a democratic constitution in the country,” Sayeed told reporters.

For the past two years the economy has deteriorated under the transitional government, Sayeed noted. She said certain individuals who worked in the former administration of Omar al-Bashir are still blocking development in Sudan.

“Our country’s infrastructure and the whole service delivery system has deteriorated as never before and the government has failed to relieve the suffering from the Sudanese citizens. This weakness that paralyzed the country’s institutions has led to the extension of insecurity and inability to ration and monitor the security forces,” said Sayeed.

With tears in her eyes, Sayeed offered her apologies to the Sudanese people, saying internally displaced persons and refugees must be able to return to their homes, the living conditions of ordinary citizens must improve, and justice must be served.

“I present my apology to all Sudanese women who are still facing exclusion from participating in the decision-making process, my apology to all mothers of martyrs, wounded revolutionaries, missing individuals and their families,” said Sayeed.

Sayeed encouraged Sudanese to continue with peaceful protests until serious reforms take place.