Sudan Coup: Military forces President Bashir to step down

  • April 11, 2019

The unrest began in December last year over a hike in bread prices. Four months later, the protests came to a head with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets in Sudan’s capital Khartoum. Earlier this week, soldiers aligned with the demonstrators, and clashed with the forces loyal to the government.

On Thursday, President Omar al-Bashir was forced to resign after thirty years in power, according to reports.

The 75-year-old has reportedly handed over to the country’s supreme military council controlled by the armed forces. Consultations are underway to set up transitional council, government sources tell Reuters.

The Sudanese army is expected to make “an important announcement”, state media said on Thursday, after months of protests against Bashir.

“The Sudanese army will issue an important statement soon. Wait for it,” a television anchor told Al Jazeera, without giving further details.

At least two army tanks, one with jubilant demonstrators on top, moved through the capital.

Witnesses reported gunfire near the military headquarters that have been at the centre of six days of a defiant sit-in, reports Al Jazeera.

The military’s headquarters also houses Bashir’s official residence and the defence ministry.

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir is a Sudanese politician who served as the seventh president of Sudan and was the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when, as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, he led a group of officers in a military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi after it began negotiations with rebels in the south. Since then, he has been elected three times as President in elections that have been under scrutiny for electoral fraud. In March 2009, al-Bashir became the first sitting president to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur.

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