Sudan 'coup' as military force President Omar al-Bashir to step down

Sudan 'coup' as military force President Omar al-Bashir to step down

Sudan 'coup' as military force President Omar al-Bashir to step down

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 army protected demonstrators and opposition leaders called for the military to step in to form a transitional government.

Sudan's main protest group has said it will reject any attempts at military rule or a reincarnation of the old regime.

It came after soldiers seized control of TV networks and said an "important statement" would be made soon, telling people to "wait for it".

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.

Troops deployed around the defense ministry and on major roads and bridges in the capital.

The announcement finally came hours later, from ibn Ouf, a key power figure in al-Bashir's regime.

After months of protests over an ailing economy and a bid to oust Bashir, the crisis escalated over the weekend when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir's residence is located.

Names of Bashir's possible successors that have been circulating include the defense minister, an ex-military intelligence chief, also an Islamist, and former army chief of staff Emad al-Din Adawi.

They want a civilian-led technocratic government put in place for four years to try and bring the country together and organize new elections.

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The Hague-based International Criminal Court in 2009 indicted al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's western province of Darfur.

Protests over rising bread prices began in rural areas in December 2018 and quickly spread across the country, which culturally straddles the Arabic-speaking Middle East and Africa. Instead, they demand a civilian transitional government.

Canadians should avoid all travel to Sudan as the country is now being rocked by a military coup deposing their longtime leader, Omar al-Bashir. Naidoo said the world should recognise the courage Sudanese people have shown in demanding their civil liberties. At least 22 people were reportedly killed as security forces tried unsuccessfully to clear the protesters.

He ultimately faced nearly daily defiance in towns and cities across Sudan despite a crackdown by security forces using teargas and sometimes live ammunition, in which dozens of people have been killed.

Al-Bashir banned unauthorized public gatherings and granted sweeping powers to the police since imposing a state of emergency last month.

Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt in 1956.

Following protests and rising inflation, Bashir's government imposed a state of emergency in February this year.

Facing the most sustained challenge to his rule yet, Bashir had counted on steadfast support from the security establishment he had nurtured for three decades to see him through.

Mr Adawi is said to be favoured by regional neighbours at odds with Mr al-Bashir over his Islamist leanings.

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