Sudan’s Bashir ousted by military, held

KHARTOUM:President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years, was on Thursday overthrown in a coup by the armed forces, which announced a two-year period of military rule to be followed by elections.

Sudan’s Bashir ousted by military, held

Sudanese anti-regime demonstrators hold up a banner during a protest in Khartoum on Thursday. AFP

Khartoum, April 11

President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years, was on Thursday overthrown in a coup by the armed forces, which announced a two-year period of military rule to be followed by elections.

In an address on state television, Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said Bashir (75), was under arrest in a "safe place" and a military council was now running the country.

Seated on a gold-upholstered armchair, Auf announced a three-month state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire and the suspension of the constitution. He also said Sudan's air space would be closed for 24 hours and border crossings shut until further notice.

Sudanese sources said Bashir was at the presidential residence under "heavy guard". A son of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the country's main opposition Umma Party, told al-Hadath TV that Bashir was being held with "a number of leaders of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group".

Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is facing an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in the Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to death of an estimated 300,000 people. The downfall of Bashir follows the toppling this month of Algerian strongman Abdelaziz Bouteflika, also following mass protests after three decades in power. — Agencies


Three decades under him

1989: In June army brigadier Bashir and a group of officers seize power in a coup backed by Islamists, toppling elected government

2003: A rebellion erupts in 2003 in the western region of Darfur, which complains of economic and political marginalisation. The conflict goes on to kill 300,000 persons and displace nearly 2.5 million, according to UN figures, before diminishing

2009: The International Criminal Court indicts Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, and a year later for genocide. He denies the charges

2010: Bashir is elected in the first multiparty elections since 1986, but voting is boycotted by the opposition and criticised abroad. He is re-elected in 2015

2017: In October , the United States ends its 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan, imposed over alleged support for Islamist militants

2018: In August the ruling party nominates Bashir as its candidate for the 2020 presidential election, despite the constitution's two-term limit

2019: On February 22 Bashir declares a state of emergency and dissolves the government.On April 11 the army announces it has ousted Bashir and put him under arrest

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