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Sudan President Bashir overthrown in military coup; military declares state of emergency for three months

Khartoum: On Thursday, the accelerated series of developments lead to the ouster of President Omar Al-Bashir in a military coup. During a press conference, General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, the Defence Minister and head of the military informed that the army had arrested Bashir and taken to a safe place. A state of emergency was declared in the country for a period of three months while General Ahmed assured that elections would be held within two years after which an elected government would take over the control. However, the protesting groups in Sudan have expressed displeasure over the military statement and indicated that the agitation would continue.

Since the last four months, demonstrations were ongoing in Sudan against the Bashir government. Nevertheless, President Bashir ignored the agitation and focussed on dismantling it. The action taken by the security forces had caused the death of more than 50 protestors. Last week, the protestors intensified the demonstrations and marched at the military headquarters and the presidential residence. In the early hours of Thursday morning, the military reportedly introduced a curfew on the mass sit-in ongoing since the last five days.

As per the media reports, President Bashir was ousted and placed under house arrest at his residence. The headquarters of Bashir’s National Congress Party was raided, and many senior leaders were arrested. Also, the military has seemingly gained control over many prominent offices along with the government news agency. In the afternoon that day, the country’s Defence Minister General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf held a press conference to announce the dismissal of President Bashir and declared a state of emergency in the country. Amid the developments, photographs had surfaced of the Sudanese people who began celebrations on the streets.

Albeit, the groups that had initiated the agitations against President Bashir, expressed dismay at the Defence Minister’s announcement and stated that it was not a real change. They voiced their criticism at the overhaul saying that only the face was replaced while the other systems and the people handling it were the same, appealing the people to continue with the agitation. Therefore, the possibility of violence being sparked in Sudan looms at large once again leading to an anarchy-like situation feared to develop in the state.

Omar Al-Bashir, who is currently under house arrest under the military has ruled the country for the last 26 years. Also, Bashir was surrounded by controversies over the conflict in the Darfur region and the creation of South Sudan. His increasing closeness with China, Iran, Turkey and Egypt, in the last few years had attracted the attention of the international community. Some analysts claim that the dismissal of Bashir, who succeeded in retaining power on the strength of the oil and military of the state may be a part of a second Arab Spring.

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