Written by Staff Writer at CNN Khartoum, Sudan.
Sudan’s newly-elected prime minister told reporters on Thursday that he had decided to form a national unity government after “an honorable deal” to avoid bloodshed in Khartoum.
In an interview with Reuters, Bakri Hassan Saleh, who led a former rebel faction in Sudan’s civil war, also said a military tribunal had conducted fair trials in Sibiya governorate, where more than 200 people died following a government crackdown on an anti-government protest in October last year.
“I found there to be credible reports that many of the victims were detained in unknown places of detention by the National Intelligence and Security Service and consequently died as a result of tortures,” Saleh said.
“They were beaten, shot and burned.”
Saleh’s comments come a day after he issued an order for an interim national unity government until Sudan’s elections in 2020.
The political appointment of Saleh — who also won some Sudanese legislative seats on Sunday — appeared a risky one by both ruling party members and dissidents, and had been met with mixed reaction in the southern African country.
As a former rebel leader, Saleh was among the leaders of the Sudanese Liberation Movement, the armed wing of Sudan’s Civil War, which fought against a long-running regime dominated by the Muslim north and represented by a southern Muslim and Christian leadership.
He spent 22 years in prison after being captured by Sudanese government forces in 1991, and was released in July 2011.
State media reports last month were abuzz with comments by Saleh, in which he said the government would keep on fighting against rebels.
Sudan is currently “under the advice of its security apparatus in order to forge ahead… This means that there would be no change or retraction in the military strategy that has been adopted,” he told Al Jazeera.
The country is known for a history of disputed borders and violence that has drawn the pair of armed bands into regional conflict. Saleh held the top political position between 2012 and 2014 and has previously said he wanted to hold the job again.
Sudan’s new political classification is subject to a two-year legal process before having to be ratified by lawmakers.