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Sudanese demonstrators gather in central Khartoum immediately after the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir Sudanese demonstrators gather in central Khartoum immediately after the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir  (AFP or licensors)

Sudan's al-Bashir ousted by military

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, has been forced to step down by the military on Thursday after three decades of autocratic power. Moves are under way in Khartoum to form a transitional council to run the country.

By Linda Bordoni

Speaking on State TV the Sudanese defense minister announced the “regime” was being removed, and that the army had decided to oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections.

He said that 75-year-old Omar al-Bashir would be kept in a safe place “under heavy guard”   confirming earlier news that the President had been ousted and arrested.

ICC indictment

It is not known what will happen to him now as Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is facing an arrest warrant for allegedly being responsible for war crimes and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region where an estimated 300,000 people were killed.

Bashir and his Islamic Movement, the main component of the ruling National Congress Party, have also been accused of protecting and harbouring Islamic terrorists.

During his thirty years at the helm of the northeast African nation, the former paratrooper who seized power in a bloodless coup, has managed his way through internal crises and isolation from the West.

Recently internal strife that has led Bashir’s own ministers to denounce "poor management, corruption, and an absence of justice".

Internal crisis

The latest crisis escalated since the weekend, when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside Bashir's residence. At least 11 people were killed during the week in clashes between soldiers trying to protect the protesters and intelligence and security personnel trying to disperse them.

Today, Thursday, thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the ministry while huge crowds took to the streets in central Khartoum, dancing and shouting anti-Bashir slogans.

Demonstrators are calling for a civilian government and say they will not accept an administration led by military and security figures, or by Bashir's aides.

Following the announcement of the ousting, Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service announced the release of all political prisoners across the country.

Meanwhile Sudan's constitution is suspended, border crossings are closed until further notice and airspace is closed for 24 hours.

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11 April 2019, 16:19