Sudan's military ousts President Omar al-Bashir following protests

Sudan President Bashir STEPS DOWN as tens of thousands march in protests against regime
Reports Sudan's president has stepped down

12 April, 2019

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down and consultations are under way to form a transitional council to run the country, government sources and a provincial minister said on Thursday.

"They need a civilian cabinet to be formed and this would be a transition government that would prepare for the general election", he told VOA Thursday.

"There is a national state of emergency in effect across Sudan, which gives security forces greater arrest and incarceration powers", the advisory said.

The UN Security Council is to discuss the situation in a closed-door meeting on Friday called by the US, France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Poland, diplomats said.

Martial music was played on state television as soldiers ordered the TV to halt its normal programming ahead of Ibnouf´s announcement.

After the televised announcement of al-Bashir's arrest by Defense Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf - who is himself under USA sanctions for links to atrocities in Sudan's Darfur conflict - many protesters chanted angrily, "The first one fell, the second will, too".

No U.S. citizens have been reported injured. Amnesty said it was "alarmed" by the new emergency measures that have been installed under the incoming transitional military council.

The protests, which erupted in December over the government's tripling of the price of bread, have become the biggest challenge to Bashir's iron-fisted rule spanning three decades.

"We expect that whatever the outcome, Russian-Sudanese relations" will be a priority for Khartoum, Peskov said.

GDP per capita is less than $4,500 USA per year and the unemployment rate is 20 per cent, according to USA government data.

Sudanese celebrate after officials said the military had forced longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir to step down after 30 years in power in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, April 11, 2019. "This is a reproduction of the same regime", one demonstrator told AFP, gesturing emphatically.

"What has been issued in the statement is recycling of the regime with new faces", he said in a statement. "It's rooted in institutional corruption".

But he has been widely criticised by rights groups for a sweeping crackdown on dissent.

How did the country get here?

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Sudan has seen a series of coups since independence in 1956. Periods of democracy, however, have been short lived amid uprisings and military coups.

Al-Bashir came to power on the back of a 1989 military coup against the democratically-elected government of Sadiq al-Mahdi.

One of his allies, religious scholar Hassan Turabi, invited Osama bin Laden to Sudan in 1991, prompting the place Sudan on its list of states sponsoring terrorism.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, front left, walks with Bashir before an official meeting in Tehran in 2006.

Despite the arrest warrant Mr al-Bashir defied the court by visiting several ICC member states, sparking diplomatic rows broke out when he went to South Africa in 2015 and Jordan in 2017 where both failed to arrest him.

Separately, South Sudan became an independent country in 2011, after residents voted overwhelmingly for secession in a referendum. The two countries are still involved in territorial disputes.

Sudan's intelligence service said it was freeing all political prisoners.

"Fall, again!" many chanted, adapting an earlier anti-Bashir slogan of "Fall, that's all".

An Egyptian Streets reporter on the ground has described the action unfurling in Sudan: after weeks of sporadic internet access, blocked sites have now returned to function, all pro-government organizations sites have been blocked instead and the city's airport has temporarily shut down amidst the coup events.

Canada participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions in Sudan's Darfur region and other parts of the country until 2009.

The indictment increased his worldwide isolation but didn't prevent him from traveling.

Trade between the two countries is negligible at $44 million in 2016, including $350,000 in imports from Sudan.

The raids on NISS buildings came despite a call by protest organisers for demonstrators to refrain from attacking government figures or buildings.

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