April 15 (UPI) -- The African Union Peace and Security Council on Monday gave the Sudanese military 15 days to hand over the country to civil rule or it will revoke Sudan's membership to the region's main peace organ.
"[The union] strongly condemns and totally rejects the seizure of power by the Sudanese military and its plan to lead the transition for two years," the union said in its communique, adding that if it fails to hand over power to civil society within 15 days it will suspend "the participation of Sudan in all A.U.'s activities until the restoration of constitutional order."
The union's decision follows the April 13 announcement by Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan that the military would give civil society rule of the country within two years.
Sudan has been in turmoil for months with protesters demanding that former President Omar al-Bashir be removed from power. On April 11, the military deposed al-Bashir in a military coup but protests persist as the public demands democratic rule.
The communique Monday says the union supports the Sudanese people's struggle and it expresses "deep concern" over the military takeover and its impact on the country, specifically Defense Minister Ahmed Awad ibn Auf's suspension of the constitution and dissolution of the National Assembly as well as the formation of a military-led transitional government and the imposition of a three-month state of emergency.
"[The union] urges the Sudanese military to refrain from any act or statement that would further complicate the situation in the country and negatively affect regional security and stability," it said.
The statement comes as the signatories to Declaration of Freedom and Change, specifically the Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been behind the movement that deposed of al-Bashir, continues to protest and says it will until power is handed over.
Sudan's representative, Omaima Sharif, tried to convince the union to stay calm and that the military was acting not in its own interest but in those of the people, as it has since it overthrew al-Bashir, the Sudan Tribune reported.
The order comes a day after the United States, Britain and Norway urged the Sudanese Transitional Military Council to hand over power to civil society and two days after the council was formed and issued the two-year deadline to relinquish power.