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

Clay Curtis
April 11, 2019

A military council is expected to replace him.

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has stepped down after months of protests, according to government sources.

Organizers of the protests urged masses to converge and join an ongoing sit-in that has been underway in the capital, Khartoum, since the weekend.

The army and security services deployed troops around the defence ministry and on major roads and bridges in Khartoum as thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the ministry, a Reuters witness said.

A Sudanese woman propelled to internet fame earlier this week after leading powerful protest chants in the capital told AFP Wednesday that women are key to the uprising against President Omar al-Bashir's iron-fisted rule.

Protesters outside the defense ministry chanted: "It has fallen, we won".

The situation escalated when the aggrieved Sudanese citizens on April 8 made a decision to take their anti-Al-Bashir demonstrations to Central Khartoum, prompting security forces to intervene.

The demonstrations initially erupted last December with rallies against a spiraling economy, but quickly escalated into calls for an end to embattled al-Bashir.

The escalation in disturbances has been ever-present since December 19 which had been sparked by the government's attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis that has led to fuel and cash shortages.

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"The Sudanese army will issue an important statement soon".

Officials say 49 people have died in protest-related violence so far.

Sudan, along with Iran, Syria and North Korea, is on Washington's blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism.

Mr Al-Bashir has been highly unpopular amongst Western powers, and was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2008 for alleged crimes stemming from the genocide in Darfur.

Sudan's police has ordered its forces not to intervene against protesters.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the protests, said they will only accept the handover of power to a civilian transitional government.

On Wednesday, protesters were raising funds to ensure a regular supply of food and water for the crowd.

Bashir has been in the top job for around 30 years and has been a divisive figure since coming to power in 1989. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Protesters have set up five big screens at the complex to screen football matches, an onlooker said.

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