Sudan risks civil war as Bashir ousted in military coup

Sudan risks civil war as Bashir ousted in military coup

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.

Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, long wanted on genocide and war crimes charges, was finally brought down in a popular uprising by the very people he ruled with an iron fist for 30 years.

Defense Minister Awad ibn Auf also announced the imposition of a one-month curfew and a three-month state of emergency in a televised statement. Bashir had banned any unauthorized public gatherings and granted large powers to the police after declaring a state of emergency last month.

Seated on a gold-upholstered armchair, he said Sudan's airspace would be closed for 24 hours and border crossings shut until further notice.

Sources also say that the Sudanese army has announced the formation of an interim council headed by the first vice president Awad Ibn Auf.

The UN chief voiced his "expectation that the democratic aspiration of the Sudanese people will be realised through an appropriate and inclusive transition process", said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Washington said Khartoum should "exercise restraint and to allow space for civilian participation within the government".

Protest organizers in Sudan denounced the army's takeover and vowed to continue rallies until a civilian transitional government is formed.

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

It urged demonstrators "to continue their sit-in in front of army headquarters and across all regions and in the streets".

Mr Adawi is said to be favoured by regional neighbours at odds with Mr Bashir over his Islamist leanings.

Outside the sprawling complex, protesters beat drums, sang and chanted slogans such "Peace!"

LATEST from a 2nd insider: there is now a meeting underway at the Military Command HQ between spy chief Gosh, RSF/Janjaweed leader Hemidti, Defence minister & current VP Awad Ibn Auf & head of the police, discussing who will lead transitional High Council of Armed Forces.

Palladino said that the United States was "suspending" the so-called Phase II talks, in which Washington was considering removing Khartoum from the USA blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism, but he added: "We remain open to engagement". "We will only accept a transitional civilian government", Mr Sennar told Reuters. That prompted thousands of protesters to march toward the centre of Khartoum, cheering, singing and dancing in celebration.

"Tell them all, the ICC prosecutor, the members of the court and everyone who supports this court that they are under my shoe", al-Bashir said, brandishing a sword.

Soldiers stormed the headquarters of Mr al-Bashir's Islamic Movement, the main component of the ruling National Congress Party.

Also Thursday the State Department raised to the highest level its travel advisory for Sudan.

Sudan's intelligence service said it was freeing all political prisoners. He became an worldwide pariah over the bloodletting in Darfur.

The military stepped in and they earlier on in the day had informed al-Bashir that he was no longer president.

The latest crisis has escalated since the weekend, when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the defense ministry compound, where Bashir's residence is located. "He (al-Bashir) has created multiple security forces, militias and has an extremely powerful intelligence and security service which we've seen trying to infiltrate these mass protests".

As a united force, Sudanese citizens from diverse backgrounds joined the protest - dubbed the Sudanese Revolution - which started on December 19, 2018, demanding the resignation of the president as a result of the increasing costs of living in the country beleaguered with a cash crisis for a better part of the year.

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