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Sudan army overthrows president al-Bashir after Popular Protests

Sudan army overthrows president al-Bashir after Popular Protests

Embattled Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down and consultations are under way to form a transitional council to run the country, government sources and a provincial minister said on Thursday.

The announcement was made on state television by General Awad Ibn Auf, the defence minister and vice-president, who said the constitution would be dissolved and a nightly curfew would be imposed for the next three months.

Mr Ibn Auf said Sudan's airspace would be shut for 24 hours, while border crossings would be closed indefinitely.

In 2005, al-Bashir's government managed to put an end to the Second Sudanese Civil War, which broke out in 1983 between the central government in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Army.

The announcement raised expectations the statement Thursday could address almost four months of anti-government protests demanding that longtime President Omar al-Bashir step down and could be a sign that he is relinquishing power.

The whereabouts of the autocratic leader, who is a pariah in many countries and is also wanted by the global war crimes tribunal for atrocities in Darfur, were not immediately known.

Over his three decades in power, al-Bashir was forced to allow the secession of South Sudan after years of war, a huge blow to the north's economy. He also said al-Bashir's crackdown against protesters risked splitting the security establishment and "could cause grave casualties".

In 1989, then a brigade commander, he led a bloodless coup against the democratically elected government.

A rally outside military headquarters in Khartoum demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir has been ongoing since Saturday April 6.

More news: William Barr heads to Congress with Mueller report under review

Al-Bashir, whose whereabouts were not immediately known, came to power in a coup of his own in 1989, backed by the military and Islamist hard-liners.

The protests in Sudan followed the success of similar but much bigger demonstrations in Algeria in forcing long-ruling President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to exit.

Meanwhile, Sudanese protesters stormed a building of the powerful intelligence services in the eastern cities of Port Sudan and Kassala after the officers refused to release the detainees there, witnesses said.

More than 300,000 people have been killed in the Darfur conflict, the United Nations says, and more than two million displaced. The protesters are seeking a transition to civilian rule, with opposition leaders included in the new government.

"I hope our revolution will achieve its goal", said Alaa Salah, dubbed the protest movement's "Nubian queen", after a video clip went viral of her conducting chants with demonstrators outside army headquarters.

In November previous year, Sudan's Petroleum Minister Azhari Abdalla said that the country wanted to attract oil investments and would launch an exploration bid round in 2019, probably in the third quarter.

In February, it looked as though the president might step down, but instead Mr Bashir declared a state of national emergency.

Speaking at a joint news conference with the president of Burkina Faso on Thursday, Erdogan repeated his disdain of coups, but refrained from voicing support for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir who was overthrown and arrested by the military.


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