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Sudan Forms Sovereign Council to Lead Country to Civilian Rule

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Sudan Forms Sovereign Council to Lead Country to Civilian Rule
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Sudan’s military leaders and the country’s pro-democracy opposition movement have formed an 11-member sovereign council to lead the country through a three-year transitional period towards civilian rule, state news agency SUNA reported.

The members of the Sovereign Council, made up of six civilians and five Transitional Military Council (TMC) officers will be sworn in Wednesday 21st August, 2019 morning, SUNA said.

A prime minister is expected to be sworn in later in the day.

A spokesman for the TMC announced the names of the members of the council in a televised address late Tuesday.

For the initial 21 months the body will be led by TMC head Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, who took over as Sudanese leader following the overthrow of long-time president Omar al-Bashir in April.

A civilian will take over for the remaining 18 months until 2022, when democratic elections are due.

The council was formed after a power-sharing deal was signed between the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the military on August 17, regulating how power is divided.

The deal gives the pro-democracy movement two-thirds of the seats in Sudan’s Legislative Council and the power to select the prime minister.

The military council will have the power to choose the interior and defence ministers.

For months, there have been massive demonstrations in Sudan.

The protests initially led to the ousting of al-Bashir, who had ruled the country in north-eastern Africa for three decades with an iron fist.

Protesters continued to call for civilian rule in the wake of his replacement by the Transitional Military Council.  (dpa/NAN)

Foreign News

Iran to Hold Memorial Services for Raisi on Tuesday

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Memorial ceremonies for President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian are planned in Iran for Tuesday.

Raisi, Amirabdollahian and seven senior Iranian officials died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Local media reported that a ceremony is being planned in the provincial capital of Tabriz in the morning, followed by a ceremony in the religious stronghold and pilgrimage city of Qom.

The date for the funerals of the two statesmen has not yet been announced.

Raisi is to be buried in his hometown of Mashhad.

The helicopter crashed in dense fog on the mountains over East Azerbaijan Province while the deceased were travelling back from a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

  (dpa/NAN)

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Iran’s Leader Appoints 1st VP Acting President

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Monday appointed the country’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber the interim president following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

Raisi was, on Sunday, killed in the crash along with the country’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and some other senior Iranian officials in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

Khamenei made the appointment known in a condolence message on the death of  Raisi and the others.

The leader described Raisi as a popular, capable, hard working and indefatigable President, expressing  sadness at the “bitter news of his martyrdom”.

Khamenei said that, according to Article 131 of Iran’s Constitution, the first vice president would be appointed at the helm of the executive arm.

He said that the first vice president was duty-bound to, in cooperation with the parliament speaker and the judiciary chief, make arrangements for election of a new president within 50 days.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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All 9 Victims in Iranian Helicopter Crash Identified

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The Iranian government said that all the nine people killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash have now been identified.

A high-ranking government representative told the Iranian news agency Tasnim, that  in spite of the  severe burns, the identities of all occupants in the helicopter were established on Monday .

Their bodies have since been transferred to Tabriz, the capital of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province.

State media had previously confirmed the deaths of all nine occupants of the helicopter, including  president Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

The chopper crashed while they were travelling back from a meeting with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

A senior imam from Tabriz who led the Friday prayers in the city was on the aircraft.

Tasnim reported that the imam was alive for about an hour after the crash and was able to contact the presidential office before succumbing to his injuries.(dpa/NAN)

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