Sudan's top general, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, on Thursday reappointed himself as head of the army-run interim governing body following the recent coup in the country, reports The Associated Press.
The move by Burhan, along with other appointments he announced for the Sovereign Council, was expected to anger Sudan's pro-democracy protest movement, which has demanded the military relinquish power and refuse to be part of any administration in which a military maintains a role.
Thursday's development, announced in a bulletin by Sudan's state television, comes amid repeated promises from the military rulers that they will hand over power to civilian authorities. Since the coup, more than 100 government officials and political leaders have been detained, along with a large number of protesters and activists. Almost all remain in custody, noted AP.
Sudan's culture and information minister, Hamza Baloul, who was arrested during the coup and later released, condemned the appointments. He described Thursday's announcement of the new council as “an extension of the coup” and said pro-democracy protesters are right to refuse to negotiate with military leaders.
Immediately after the October 25 coup, the United States announced that it is pausing assistance from the $700 million Sudan aid package following the coup attempt in the country.
"Those funds were intended to support the country's democratic transition as we evaluate the next steps for Sudan programming," said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.
Asked about the possible impact of the Sudan coup on the Abraham Accords, Price replied, "The normalization effort between Israel and Sudan is something that will have to be evaluated as we and as Israel watch very closely what happens in the coming hours and coming days. I wouldn’t want to weigh into that just yet."
Sudan became the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump Administration in October, 2020, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The agreement between Israel and Sudan was announced days after then-US President Donald Trump officially removed Sudan from the list of nations that sponsor and finance terrorism.
However, despite the agreement, no steps for full normalization between Israel and Sudan have taken place as of yet.