Military topples, arrests President al-Bashir

Military topples, arrests President al-Bashir

Military topples, arrests President al-Bashir

Sudan's ruling military council has begun talks with the organisers of mass protests demanding a civilian-led transition to democracy after the overthrow of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

He announced his decision to step down at a nationwide broadcast on Friday.

Ibnouf said a transitional military council would replace the president for two years, adding that the country's borders and airspace were shut until further notice. He did not explain his reasons for the resignation but promptly named another general, Abdel-Fatah al-Burhan Abdel-Rahman, as his replacement.

The protests then took on a new dimension as Sudanese citizens started calling for the resignation of Sudan's President Omar Bashir Bashir, who has been in power for almost 30 years.

In an online statement, the movement depicted the army's assurances as a "deception" and called for an immediate handover of power to a civilian transitional government.

The protesters have said they will remain in the streets until a civilian transitional council is formed.

A member of the new military council, Lt-Gen Omar Zain al-Abidin, said it was for the protesters to decide Sudan's political and economic future.

The Trump administration has said it will withdraw or deny visas of any ICC judges or prosecutors if the court investigated possible war crimes against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Omar el-Digeir, leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, said the military should not be "the sole custodians of power".

"The military takeover has recycled the same faces and the same people are in charge".

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Despite enabling the ouster of Bashir, the new administration falls short of the demand for a civilian transition government which protesters, stung by three decades of worsening economy and authoritarian rule, had called for. "We may try him, but we will not hand him over", said Omar Zeinalabdin, the political committee's head.

Bashir, who the military said was "under arrest" at a "safe place", remains on the ICC's wanted list for war crimes and genocide.

That came after the African Union decried Bashir's military overthrow, saying it was "not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people". He also vowed to "uproot the regime" of Bashir and its symbols.

Meanwhile, Zein Abedeen sought to reassure protesters who, while celebrating al-Bashir's removal, oppose the military's seizure of power.

Around the same time, Sudanese political exiles in Egypt were reportedly being hunted by spies from Sudan's National Intelligence Security Service (NISS).

At least 16 people were killed, and 20 wounded by stray bullets at protests and sit-ins on Thursday and Friday, a Sudanese police spokesman said in a statement on Saturday quoted by Reuters.

As head of Sudan's ground forces he oversaw Sudanese troops fighting in the Saudi-led Yemen war and has close ties to senior Gulf military officials.

Thousands kept up their sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum overnight and into Friday morning despite a curfew imposed by the army after it arrested al-Bashir.

The group encouraged continued protests at the army's headquarters in Khartoum and military posts around the country "until state power is reinstated to a civilian transitional government that represents the forces of the revolution".

The transitional period will last for a maximum of two years, he noted.

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