Sudan's Bashir moved to prison as doctors rally

Sudan's Bashir moved to prison as doctors rally

Uganda is willing to offer asylum to former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should he apply, a state minister for foreign affairs on Tuesday said.

The minister said the authorities in Kampala were closely monitoring the ongoing events in Khartoum, where street protests have continued after the military removed Bashir from power last week.

Since his removal by the military last Thursday, Bashir had been detained under heavy guard in the presidential residence inside the compound that also houses the Defence Ministry, the family sources said.

Another family source also confirmed to AFP that Bashir was transferred to Kobar.

"There are troops in vehicles mounted with machine-guns near the prison", a witness told the AFP news agency. "People come in knowing that they might die".

In a bid to woo Western opinion, the military council has also backtracked on its position towards longstanding warrants for Bashir's arrest issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Mr Oryem also reiterated that what's important is for a peaceful transition of power in respect to the popular aspiration of the civilian struggle.

Despite Bashir's close ties to the military's senior leadership, mid- and lower-ranking officers more connected to society sympathised with the protesters' demands, said Hamid Eltigani, a Sudanese professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo.

Al-Bashir is one of the guarantors of the fragile peace deal between South Sudan's warring factions. However, it did not rule out that a subsequent civilian government could someday hand over al-Bashir to the ICC.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for "a rapid transfer of power to a civilian transitional government".

In Sudan, rebels fighting government forces declared a unilateral, three-month cease-fire Wednesday in areas under their control in the country's southern Blue Nile state.

"We, the undersigned Sudanese, African and global civil society organizations write to express our solidarity with the people of Sudan who, over the past several months, have been calling for a peaceful, democratic transition".

At the United Nations, the joint U.N.

On Monday, the African Union urged the TMC to hand power to a transitional civilian-led authority within 15 days or risk Sudan being suspended from the AU.

However the European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, held off expressing support for the army, instead calling for a swift handover of power to civilian government and said Europe would not recognise the transitional military council.

Lt Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, the new head of the military transition council, received phone calls from the Saudi king, UAE president, Qatari emir, Ethiopian prime minister and South Sudanese president, SUNA said on Monday.

"What is clear is that there has not been a clear break from the old regime", Murithi Mutiga, deputy project director for the Horn of Africa at the International Crisis Group told NPR's Halima Gikandi.

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