Army taking over power in Sudan, declares three month State of Emergency.

Gone with the wind. Sudan’s army overthrew President Omar al-Bashir and announced it would rule the country through a military council for the next two years. Bashir is now under house arrest.

BY AGENCIES

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

Sudan’s Al-Bashir Toppled in Military Coup

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