Sudan joy turns to anger for 'hoodwinked' protesters

Sudan joy turns to anger for 'hoodwinked' protesters

Sudan joy turns to anger for 'hoodwinked' protesters

Sudanese forces celebrate after officials said the military had forced longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir to step down after 30 years in power in Khartoum, Sudan.

Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, surrounded by Sudanese flags, announced on state television that Bashir's 30-year rule was over.

"Avoid the areas of the demonstrations, be aware of your surroundings, avoid crowds, keep a low profile, monitor local media for updates and notify friends and family of your safety", the department said on Twitter.

Mr al-Bashir, a former paratrooper who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1989, has been a divisive figure who has managed his way through one internal crisis after another while withstanding attempts by the West to weaken him.

The protests against al-Bashir gained a boost last week after Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in response to weeks of similar protests against his almost 20-year rule.

Dozens of people have been killed since anti-Bashir demonstrations erupted in December, including children, medics and soldiers, some of whom were attempting to protect protesters from a crackdown carried out by security forces loyal to the now-deposed Sudanese leader.

Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior SPA member, said the group expected to negotiate with the military over a transfer of power.

Sudan has seen a series of coups since independence in 1956. Protesters have staged a sit-in since last Saturday in front of the Sudanese military headquarters since last Saturday.

The SPA said the military had announced a "coup" that would merely reproduce the same "faces and institutions that our great people revolted against".

After the televised announcement of al-Bashir's arrest by Defense Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf - who is himself under US sanctions for links to atrocities in Sudan's Darfur conflict - many protesters chanted angrily, "The first one fell, the second will, too".

"While we shoulder this responsibility, we will be keen on the safety of citizens and the nation", he said.

Sudanese opposition parties and professional associations on Thursday voiced their "total rejection" of the "military coup" that appears to have removed President Omar al-Bashir from power.

The 75-year-old leader has stepped down, according to Reuters, which also reported that consultations were underway to set up a transitional council. AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said it was not an appropriate response to the challenges facing the country and the aspirations of its people. Amnesty International, however, puts the number at 52.

But in the eastern cities of Kasala and Port Sudan, protesters stormed NISS buildings after the releases failed to materialize, witnesses said.

Being a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, al-Bashir was responsible for waging operations in the south of the country against the late rebel John Garang, who led the Sudan People's Liberation Army during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

They vowed to continue the protest even though a curfew has been imposed as part of the three-month state of emergency.

The defence minister, too, has faced accusations over his role in a conflict in Sudan's Darfur region that began in 2003.

The organizers say they are now in discussions with the military's leadership about forming a transitional government.

Noticias relacionadas

[an error occurred while processing the directive]