Monday, 22 April, 2019

Four African leaders removed by army amid popular revolts

Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir steps down according to government sources Sudan President Bashir STEPS DOWN as tens of thousands march in protests against regime
Angelica Greene | 12 April, 2019, 03:31

In an address on state television, Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf announced a two-year period of military rule to be followed by presidential elections.

The SPA, which is spearheading the protests, said they will only accept the handover of power to a civilian transitional government.

Amnesty said it was "alarmed" by the new emergency measures that have been installed under the incoming transitional military council. Since coming to power in 1989, the strongman, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges in connection with atrocities in the western Darfur region, has ruled Sudan longer than any other leader since the country gained independence in 1956.

Troops deployed around the defense ministry and on major roads and bridges in the capital.

Mr Bashir has been in power for 30 years and been a hugely divisive figure since becoming president in 1989.

After months of protests over an ailing economy and a bid to oust Bashir, the crisis escalated over the weekend when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir's residence is located.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir chairs a meeting of leaders of some political parties in the capital Khartoum, March 7, 2019.

Despite the immediate jubilation around al-Bashir's downfall, the military intervention risks replacing one dictatorship with another, dashing protesters' hopes for a civilian government and opening the way for instability.

One of the world's most enduring dictators, he is a pariah in many nations and is wanted by an global court for war crimes committed in Darfur.

The U.S. State Department issued a "shelter in place" warning for U.S. citizens in Sudan on Thursday morning, advising them to avoid crowds and areas where demonstrations are taking place.

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Tens of thousands of Sudanese were on the streets of the capital, Khartoum.

A rally outside military headquarters in Khartoum demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir has been ongoing since Saturday April 6.

Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior member of the Sudanese Professionals' Association, said the group expected to negotiate a transfer of power with the military.

Organisers of anti-government protests rejected Bashir's toppling by the army on Thursday as a "coup conducted by the regime" and vowed to keep up their campaign.

Later in January, Bashir declared a national state of emergency that expanded police powers and banned unlicensed public gatherings.

In recent months, Sudan has seen shortages of fuel and sharp increases on food prices. Dozens of people have been killed.

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

The country's economic crisis has been exacerbated by the secession in 2011 of oil-rich South Sudan, denying Khartoum a big chunk of oil revenue.

Officials say 49 people have died in protest-related violence since demonstrations first erupted in December.

Activist Alaa Salah tweeted: "AL-BASHIR IS OUT!"

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