Sudan president Omar Al-bashir steps down after protests

Sudan president Omar Al-bashir steps down after protests

Earlier Thursday, the Sudanese army announced the "removal" of al-Bashir and the imposition of a two-year "transitional phase". There were also reports that several senior figures close to Bashir in the ruling National Congress party had been detained.

Bashir had faced months of protests and calls to step down since late past year, sparked by an economic crisis.

The military stepped in and they earlier on in the day had informed al-Bashir that he was no longer president. "Wait for it", a television anchor said.

A career soldier, Bashir was well known for his populist touch, insisting on being close to crowds and addressing them in colloquial Sudanese Arabic.

"The Sudanese people didn't take the streets for four months to replace a tyrant with another", he told Foreign Policy.

Sudanese airspace would be closed for 24 hours and border crossings would be sealed until further notice, he said after he had apprised the country about the nationwide ceasefire.

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

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

Without delving into details the state owned television said: "The Sudanese army will issue an important statement soon". In a statement, it refused to accept what it called a military coup that retains numerous faces that Sudan's people rebelled against.

"People are celebrating and pouring in to the sit-in area". On Tuesday, a police spokesman called for "an agreement which would support the peaceful transition of power".

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The protests were originally sparked by a rise in the cost of living, but demonstrators then began calling for the president to resign and his government to go. The government said weeks ago that 31 people had been killed, but the group Physicians for Human Rights estimates the death toll is at least 60.

They were initially fueled by anger over the deteriorating economy but quickly turned to demands for his ouster.

A military council is expected to be formed to run the country before elections can be held.

"We need to see a swift move to an inclusive, representative, civilian leadership". Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

The African Union has criticised the military take-over in Sudan following the toppling of Omar al-Bashir. The presidency was warned, he said, but "kept repeating slogans and fake promises".

Russia, which has twice hosted Mr Bashir, called for calm and said it was monitoring the situation.

Russian Federation on Thursday called for calm in Sudan and expressed hope that close bilateral ties would not be threatened, irrespective of who was in power.

In a statement, he also said that justice was "long overdue" for Mr Bashir. He also announced the release of political prisoners.

Who is Omar al-Bashir?

The military's coup brought an end to a president who came to power in a coup of his own in 1989, backed by the military and Islamist hard-liners, and who had survived multiple blows that could have brought him down. Bashir later tried to improve the country's image by striking a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of north-south civil war. The 75-year-old dictator, who has been under indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide since 2009, was placed on house arrest. However, his last victory was marred by a boycott by the main opposition parties.

He suspects that this is an internal coup by the islamists - engineered by the army, in collaboration with spy chief Gosh & RSF/Janjaweed leader Hemidti.

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