Bashir ousted and arrested

Sudanese demonstrators wave their national flag as they arrive for a protest rally demanding Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down outside the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan. (Reuters/Stringer)

Sudanese demonstrators wave their national flag as they arrive for a protest rally demanding Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down outside the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan. (Reuters/Stringer)

After nearly three decades in power, Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir has been ousted and arrested, the defence minister said on state TV.

Minister Awad Ibn Ouf said the army will oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections, adding that a three-month state of emergency with a 10pm curfew would be enforced.

Sudan’s feared intelligence service, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said it was freeing all the country’s political prisoners, state media reported.

“The National Intelligence and Security Service has announced it is releasing all political detainees across the country,” the official SUNA news agency said.

“We are calling on our people to control themselves and not to attack anybody or government and private properties,” the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC), the umbrella group that is spearheading the protest movement, said in a statement.

“Anyone found doing this will be punished by law. Our revolution is peaceful, peaceful, peaceful.”

Protests against Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since 1989, started on December 19 last year. The demonstrations were initially in protest over the rising costs of bread and fuel, but soon widened to call for the overthrow of Bashir.

In less than a week, the demonstrations, which began in the city of Atbara, quickly spread across the country including the capital, Khartoum.

Since its independence, Sudan has periodically suffered military coups, including the one that brought Bashir to power. The role of the military was vital in forcing out Bashir as well, as it was only once soldiers began defending protesters that his position became completely untenable.

Kiri Rupiah

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