April 11: Sudanese military stormed the state TV and radio stations and surrounded the presidential palace on Thursday morning and announced the arrest of Sudan’s now former President Omar Al Bashir as nearly four months of anti-government protests took a new twist with protesters camping for the consecutive fifth night in front of army headquarters in Khartoum, demanding the departure of al-Bashir, who has wielded authoritarian power for three decades.
People marched holding a giant flag of the country on the streets of the capital and there were scenes of jubilation after it was announced that Bashir regime has been toppled.
Sudan’s defence minister said the military would rule the country directly for a two year transition period before fresh elections.
General Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibnouf, who is also a vice president and was seen as an ally of Mr Bashir, said the long-serving dictator was in a “safe place.”
“I announce as minister of defence the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place,” Gen Ibnouf said.
It is the largest protest since demonstrations that initially erupted in December 2018 due to food shortages, rising prices and deterioration of economic conditions,shifted the focus into calls for an end to al Bashir’s 30-year rule.
The army headquaters in Khartoum also houses Bashir’s residence and the defence ministry.The protesters called on the army to support the mass movement as Officials of National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and riot police have cracked down on demonstrators, but the army has not intervened.
Fearing an instability and chaos, Sadiq Al Mahdi, a Sudanese Opposition leader called for “a select military command” to negotiate a transition towards democracy.
The US, Britain and Norway have all called on the Sudanese authorities to deliver a credible plan for a peaceful transition of power.
“The time has come for the Sudanese authorities to respond to these popular demands in a serious way,” their embassies said. “The Sudanese authorities must now respond and deliver a credible plan for this political transition.”
The renewed protests on April 6 mark the 34th anniversary of the 1985 coup that overthrew the brutal regime of president Jaafar Nimeri.
Al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges in connection with atrocities conflict-wracked region of Darfur, has ruled Sudan longer than any leader since the country gained independence in 1956 from the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, the joint British and Egyptian government that administrated Sudan.
Blog : By Arti Bali,