Omar al-Bashir: Sudan military coup topples ruler after protests

Omar al-Bashir: Sudan military coup topples ruler after protests

The announcement was made by the defence minister Awad Ibn Ouf

After nearly 30 years in power, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been ousted and arrested, the defence minister says.

(bbc)—Speaking on state TV, Awad Ibn Ouf said the army had decided to oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections.

He also said a three-month state of emergency was being put in place.

Protests against Mr Bashir, who has governed Sudan since 1989, have been under way for several months.

The main group behind the demonstrations immediately rejected the military’s statement and urged people to remain at a sit-in outside army headquarters.

Protesters want a civilian council to lead the transition rather than a military one, correspondents say.

“I announce as minister of defence the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place,” Mr Ibn Ouf said in a statement.

Mr Bashir’s exact whereabouts are not known.

Mr Ibn Ouf said the country had been suffering from “poor management, corruption, and an absence of justice” and he apologised “for the killing and violence that took place”.

Some people celebrated in Khartoum after the army announcement

He said Sudan’s constitution was being suspended, border crossings were being shut until further notice and airspace was being closed for 24 hours.

As the news broke, crowds of protesters celebrated outside army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, embracing soldiers and climbing on top of armoured vehicles.

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

Anti-government protesters have been cheering the military

Mr Bashir is the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which accuses him of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

However it is not clear what will happen to him following his arrest.