Sudan state TV says army to make 'important statement soon'


Sudanese defense minister has announced the military has overthrown and arrested President Omar al-Bashir and has taken charge of the country for the next two years following almost four months of protests against his rule.

(CNN)Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down after 30 years in power and is under house arrest, multiple sources told CNN.

Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf appeared on state TV, in military fatigues, following an earlier announcement of an "important statement" coming from the army on Thursday.

Earlier in the week soldiers joined forces with the demonstrators before clashing with government forces loyal to al-Bashir.

President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down and consultations are underway to set up a transitional council to run the country, according to government sources and a provincial minister.

Omar al-Bashir addresses the National Dialogue Committee meeting at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan April 5, 2019.

Sudanese protesters flash the victory sign as they march towards the military headquarters.

Riots and strikes in 1964 led to the military giving up control.

The protests, which erupted in December, have become the biggest challenge yet to Mr Bashir's three decades of iron-fisted rule.

Sudanese president Omar al Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup
ABD RAOUFSudanese president Omar al Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup

He has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is facing an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan's Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to death of an estimated 300,000 people. "We urge the revolutionaries not to leave the sit-in", the Sudanese Professionals Association, one of the main organizers, said Thursday, warning against attempts to "reproduce the old regime".

Swarms of euphoric protesters are thronging the streets of the capital, with some mounting military vehicles chanting "We have won, we have won".

At least 11 people died in the violence, including six members of the armed forces, the information minister has confirmed.

The months of protests have plunged Sudan into its worst crisis in years.

The protests against al-Bashir gained a boost last week after Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in response to weeks of similar protests against his almost 20-year rule.

The organisers say they are now in discussions with the military's leadership about forming a transitional government.

Saturday's marches in Khartoum marked the 34th anniversary of the overthrow of former President al-Nimeiri in a bloodless coup.

Bashir's departure would cap a season of protest and political churn in North Africa that recalled the 2011 "Arab Spring" uprisings that removed autocratic leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. The demonstrations changed from a narrowly economic agenda to demanding that President Bashir, who took power in a coup in June 1989, step down.

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