Sudan military says it has ousted Omar al-Bashir

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After nearly 30 years in power, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been ousted and arrested, the defence minister says.

Speaking on state TV, Awad Ibn Ouf said the army had decided to oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections.

He also said a three-month state of emergency was being put in place.

Protests against Mr Bashir, who has governed Sudan since 1989, have been under way for several months.

“I announce as minister of defence the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place,” Mr Ibn Ouf said in a statement.

It is not clear where Mr Bashir is being held.

Mr Ibn Ouf said the country had been suffering from “poor management, corruption, and an absence of justice”.

He said Sudan’s constitution was being suspended, border crossings were being closed until further notice and airspace was being closed for 24 hours.

As the news broke, crowds of protesters celebrated outside army headquarters, embracing soldiers and climbing on top of armoured vehicles.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s intelligence service said it was freeing all political prisoners, state-run Suna news agency reported.

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

However it is unclear what will happen to him following his arrest.

How did events unfold?

In the early hours of Thursday, military vehicles were seen entering the large compound in Khartoum that houses the defence ministry, the army headquarters and Mr Bashir’s personal residence, AFP news agency reported.

State TV and radio later interrupted their programming with a message that the army would be making a statement.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through central Khartoum, some chanting “It has fallen, we won”, Reuters reported.

 

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