Khartoum: Sudan took further steps in its transition towards civilian rule on Wednesday with the swearing in of a new sovereign council, to be followed by the appointment of a prime minister.
The body replaces the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that took charge after months of deadly street protests brought down longtime ruler Omar al Bashir in April.
As a result of Wednesday’s move, it was the first time that Sudan was not under full military rule since Bashir’s coup d’etat in 1989.
The first steps of the transition after the mass celebrations that marked the August 17 adoption of a transitional constitution proved difficult however.
The names of the joint civilian-military sovereign council’s 11 members were eventually announced late on Tuesday after differences within the opposition camp held up the process for two days.
General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, who already headed the TMC, was sworn in as the chairman of the new sovereign council in the morning.
Wearing his usual green beret and camouflage uniform, Burhan took the oath in a short ceremony.
He will be Sudan’s head of state for the first 21 months of the 39-month transition period, until a civilian takes over for the remainder.
The council’s 10 other members were sworn in shortly afterwards and Abdalla Hamdok, who was chosen by the opposition last week to be prime minister.
The sovereign council includes two women, including a member of Sudan’s minority, and it will oversee the formation of a government and of a legislative body.
The inauguration of the civilian-dominated ruling council, which held its first meeting in the afternoon, was widely welcomed but some Khartoum residents warned they would keep their new rulers in check.