The Sudanese armed forces are not “against the demands” of protesters seeking the departure of long-serving President Omar al-Bashir, the country’s defence minister has said, warning, however, that the army will not allow a “fall into chaos”.

Over the past four months, Sudan has witnessed widespread anti-government protests that were sparked by anger over rising bread prices but quickly morphed into broader calls against al-Bashir’s three-decade rule.

“Sudan’s armed forces understand the reasons for the demonstrations and … aspirations of the citizens,” General Awad Ibnouf said on Monday at a meeting of top military brass, according to the state-run SUNA news agency.

But he added: “History will not forgive if the armed forces let the country lose its security.”

The defence minister’s statement came after activists said that soldiers in

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