Army taking over power in Sudan, declares three month State of Emergency.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was deposed by the army on Thursday and consultations were underway to form a transitional council to run the country.
Speaking on state TV, Minister of Defence Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said the army had decided to oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections.
He also said a three-month state of emergency was being put in place.
“I announce as minister of defense the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place,” Mr Ibn Ouf said in a statement.
He said Sudan’s constitution was being suspended, border crossings were being shut until further notice and airspace was being closed for 24 hours.
As the news broke, crowds of protesters celebrated outside army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, embracing soldiers and climbing on top of armoured vehicles.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s intelligence service said it was freeing all political prisoners, state-run Suna news agency reported.
The main organizer of protests against Bashir, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), however, rejected the army’s statement and plan. It called on protesters to maintain a sit-in outside the defense ministry that started on Saturday, a source with the group said.
BREAKING: Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf declares a state of emergency for three months. https://t.co/gFqBcOcYvq
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) April 11, 2019
The SPA has previously said that any transitional administration must not include anyone from what it calls the “tyrannical regime”.
Sudanese sources told Reuters that Bashir was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”. A son of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the country’s main opposition Umma Party, told al-Hadath TV that Bashir was being held with “a number of leaders of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group”.
As anticipated, change has come to #Sudan. #Bashir’s oppressive, kleptocratic Islamist government has fallen. #Eritrea stands tall. Its enemies fall by the wayside, one after the other. #TPLF
— EritreanViews (@EritreanViews) April 11, 2019
The protests were originally sparked by a rise in the cost of living, but demonstrators then began calling for the president to resign and his government to go.
Sudanese protesters taking down images of Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum, #Sudan pic.twitter.com/UIgrO0MOGW
— Isma’il Kushkush (@ikushkush) April 11, 2019
Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is facing an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to death of an estimated 300,000 people.
Crowds converged in Khartoum, Sudan, to hail the removal of President Omar al-Bashir.
Protestors and members of the armed forces were seen cheering amid celebratory gunfire. https://t.co/BSjnq9kKNI pic.twitter.com/vUYwRSYysn
— CNN (@CNN) April 11, 2019
Despite the arrest warrant Bashir defied the court by visiting several ICC member states. Diplomatic rows broke out when he went to South Africa in 2015 and Jordan in 2017 and both failed to arrest him.
The downfall of Bashir follows the toppling this month of Algerian strongman Abdelaziz Bouteflika, also following mass protests after three decades in power.