KHARTOUM – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was forced to step down by the military on Thursday after three decades of autocratic power, and moves were underway to form a transitional council to run the country, Sudanese sources said.
Government sources and the minister of production and economic resources in North Darfur, Adel Mahjoub Hussein, told Dubai-based al-Hadath TV that Bashir had stepped down and consultations were taking place to form a ruling military council.
Sudanese sources confirmed Bashir, 75, was deposed by the army and was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”.
The military will make an announcement soon, state television said as troops deployed around the defense ministry and on major roads and bridges in the capital.
Soldiers stormed the headquarters of Bashir’s Islamic Movement, the main component of the ruling National Congress Party, a Reuters witness said.
Thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the defense ministry, while huge crowds took to the streets in central Khartoum, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans.
Protesters outside the defense ministry chanted: “It has fallen, we won.”
One protester, speaking to Arabiya TV, said reports were circulating that Bashir’s deputy and Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf would replace him, but this was unacceptable to the demonstrators.
“We expect good news, joyful news that we have waited for 30 years,” demonstrator Nadine Ala al-Din said.
Mohamed Adam, 44, said: “We will not accept Bashir’s aides as part of the new situation. Those people have killed protesters.”
State television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest.