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Coup in Sudan: Omar al-Bashir overthrown, military declares two-year rule

MILITARY in Sudan has announced the removal of the President, Omar al-Bashir, and the takeover of the country for a two-year rule. 

The Sudanese defence minister, Awad Ibn Ouf, speaking on a state TV on Thursday,  said the president, after 30 years in power, has been ousted and arrested. He said the army had decided to oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections.

The defence minister, who led the military coup in the morning, said the country’s constitution would be suspended for the two years of military charge. A three-month state of emergency has also been put in place.

Omar-al-Bashir

“I announce as minister of defence the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place,” Ibn Ouf said in the televised at about 2:00 p.m. local time. It was not stated where Bashir, the ousted president,  was being held.

The defence minister said the country had been suffering from “poor management, corruption, and an absence of justice” and he apologised “for the killing and violence that took place”.

Ibn Auf said Sudan’s border crossings would be shut until further notice, and the airspace closed for 24 hours.

As the leader of the coup this morning, he will also lead the newly-inaugurated supreme military council. Sudan’s intelligence service said it was freeing all political prisoners.

Al-Bashir was kicked out of the office today after several months of massive protests across the country. The protesters cried out against his continuous ruling which started in 1989, adding up to 30 years in 2019. The protesters had demanded that no one near his power within that time should be allowed near power again.

As the news broke, crowds of anti-government protesters celebrated outside army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, embracing soldiers and climbing on top of armoured vehicles.

Crowds of people join the military to celebrate the toppling of President Al-Bashir on Thursday Credit:BBC

Meanwhile, some demonstrators still vowed to continue the protest even though a curfew has been imposed as part of the three-month state of emergency.

In a strongly worded statement, the c (SPA), the main organisation behind the demonstrations said the military had announced a “coup” that would reproduce the same “faces and institutions that our great people revolted against”.

“Those who destroyed the country and killed the people are seeking to steal every drop of blood and sweat that the Sudanese people poured in their revolution that the shook the throne of tyranny,” the statement read.

It urged people to continue the sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, the country capital and to stay on the streets of cities across the country.

Al-Bashir himself was formerly an army officer and he seized power in a military coup in 1989.

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