Sudan’s military removes al-Bashir: All the latest updates | News

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been removed by the military after months of anti-government protests against his three-decade rule.

The long-time ruler was replaced by a military council headed by General Awad Ibn Auf, who imposed a three-month state of emergency and declared the transitional body would rule the country for two years. 

The coup and installation of the council was rejected by the protesters, who said the moves did not meet their long-standing demands for a civilian-led government.

Amid continued demonstrations, Ibn Auf’s resigned on Friday evening, and named Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan as his successor.  

Since December, Sudan has witnessed persistent protests sparked by rising food prices that quickly escalated into wider calls for al-Bashir’s departure.

The latest crisis escalated on April 6 when thousands of demonstrators began a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum. Dozens of people have been killed in protest-related violence since the start of the demonstrations.

Here are all the latest updates:

Saturday, April 13, 2019:

RSF commander appointed deputy head of military council

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known by his nickname Hemeti, is being appointed the deputy leader of the ruling military council, according to Sudanese state television.

Footage shows Hemeti, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Force, being sworn in.

Protest leaders deliver demands to military council 

Omar al-Digair, head of a 10-member delegation representing anti-government protesters, says the group “delivered our demands to the military council” including the formation of a civilian-led transitional government. 

Speaking outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, he says the delegation called for the release of some 47 students of Darfur origin who were arrested in December as well as the reforms to the security services.




Will Sudan’s coup leaders make concessions to protesters? (25:18)

Al-Bashir’s party urges release of leaders

The National Congress Party is urging the ruling military council to release its acting president and other key members.

“We consider the military council’s power grab a violation of constitutional law,” the party says in a statement. 

“The NCP rejects the detention of its leaders, among them its acting president and a large number of prominent members, and calls for their immediate release.”

Protest organisers meet military council

A 10-member delegation representing groups behind the months-long anti-government demonstrations is holding talks with Sudan’s military council at the army headquarters in Khartoum.



Sudanese women raise banners and a national flag as they rally outside the army headquarters in Khartoum [Ebrahim Hamid/ AFP] 

The meeting comes as the new head of the council calls for dialogue and vows that a transitional period will last a maximum of two years.

Read more here

Al-Burhan vows to ‘uproot regime and its symbols’

The new head of the military council says those involved in the killing of protesters will face justice and orders the release of prisoners jailed under emergency laws.

“I announce the restructuring of state institutions according to the law and pledge to fight corruption and uproot the regime and its symbols,” al-Burhan adds in his first televised address to the nation.

Council calls for talks, vows two-year transition

Sudan’s military council says a civilian government will be formed after a transitional period that will last for a maximum of two years.

In his speech to the nation, al-Burhan says: “I invite all the people of Sudan, including political parties and civil society groups, to engage in dialogue.”

The council’s new head adds: “A military council will be formed to represent the state until an interim government is formed. The interim military council commits to the following: A two-year transitional period during which, or at the end of which, power will be handed over to a civilian government formed by the people.”



Al-Burhan takes oath as chief of the new military council on Friday [Sudan TV/AFP]

Military council lifts curfew

The new leader of Sudan’s military transitional council has announced the lifting of the curfew imposed his predecessors.

Addressing the protesters, al-Burhan says: “In order to provide an atmosphere for your design to establish a state, we declare that the curfew is lifted, all detained or sentenced under martial law will be immediately released.”

Military council: Intelligence chief has resigned

The head of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service, Salih Ghosh, has resigned from his post, the country’s new military rulers said on Saturday.

“The chief of the transitional military council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has accepted the resignation of… the chief of NISS,” the transitional military council said.

Ghosh had overseen a sweeping crackdown led by NISS agents against protesters taking part in four months of mass demonstations that led up to the toppling of veteran president Omar al-Bashir by the army on Thursday.

Sudan police: 16 killed by stray bullets at protests and sit-ins

At least 16 people were killed and 20 others injured by stray bullets at protests and sit-ins on Thursday and Friday, a Sudanese police spokesman said in a statement on Saturday as the nation waited to hear from its newly appointed leader.

Government buildings and private property were also attacked, spokesman Hashem Ali added.

Friday, April 12, 2019:

SPA welcomes Ibn Auf’s resignation

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded the months-long demonstrations that triggered al-Bashir’s overthrow, praises Ibn Auf’s departure as a “triumph of the will of the masses”.

The group also calls on people to continue a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital and take to the streets outside the military’s “various garrisons” elsewhere throughout the country.



A Sudanese protester holds up a sign reading in Arabic “revolutionaries, free, will continue the course” [Ashraf Shazly/AFP]

Protesters in Khartoum, meanwhile, tell Al Jazeera the toppling of al-Bashir and resignation of Ibn Auf within 36 hours is the result of “patience, sacrifices and struggle for four months”.

“We now want to witness the power being handed over to the civilians, this is the … democracy and freedom we aimed to achieve,” Abdul Jabar Ibrahim, 60, says.

Ibn Auf quits as head of transitional military council

General Awad Ibn Auf announces he is stepping down as head of the ruling military council.

“I, the head of the military council, announce I am giving up the post,” Ibn Auf says in a speech broadcast live on state television. He says he is taking the decision to preserve the unity of the armed forces.

Al-Burhan will now head the transitional council, he says.



Awad Ibn Auf announced his resignation just a day after he was sworn in [Sudan TV/AFP]

 

No action after UN Security Council briefing on Sudan

Christoph Heusgen, president of the UN Security Council, says members agreed to monitor the situation in Sudan following a closed-door briefing.

While the 15-member body is not announcing any action on Sudan, Heusgen, who is also Germany’s ambassador to the UN, tells reporters the body understands the meeting “as a strong signal that the Security Council is dealing with the issue”.

Military council asks ‘all political forces’ to name delegates for talks

Sudan’s military council is asking all “political forces” in the country to name two representatives by Saturday for a dialogue on the country’s transition. 

The council says a time for the meeting will be set once it has received the names from all groups, according to SUNA news agency.

Sudan envoy: Transition to civilian rule could be shortened

Sudan’s envoy to the United Nations says that a two-year transition period to civilian rule could be shortened “depending on developments on the ground and agreements between stakeholders”.

“The [military] council will be the guarantor of a civilian government to be formed in collaboration with political forces and stakeholders,” says Yasir Abdelsalam, Sudan’s charge d’affaires.



Sudanese men wave national flags and chant slogans as they gather outside the army headquarters in Khartoum [Ashraf Shazly/AFP]

“No party will be excluded,” he adds.

Huge rallies in Khartoum as protesters call on Ibn Auf to quit

Tens of thousands of protesters are rallying outside the army headquarters in the capital, calling for the military council to immediately hand over power to a civilian-led transitional government.

Protesters say they will not leave the rally until Ibn Auf steps down.

“What is happening now is a big trick; this is the same regime of al-Bashir and so they want to cheat us in order to maintain the interests of the ruling party seniors, the security organs and the entire regime symbols,” protester Mohamed al-Zain tells Al Jazeera.

Military declaration ‘not selling’

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, says the military council’s declaration does not seem to be “selling with the thousands of people who are out on the streets” protesting.

“This is not what they have been asking for,” Morgan says, adding that protesters want a hand over of power to an “interim, independent civilian government”.

“They [the protesters] do not want the military to be taking charge of affairs until elections are held,” she adds.

‘We will resist”: SPA rejects military assurances

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) dismisses the ruling military council’s claim it had no ambitions to hold on to power in Sudan.



Sudanese demonstrators protest against the army’s announcement that al-Bashir would be replaced by a military-led transitional council [Reuters]

Denouncing the military statement as a “farce”, the SPA calls for an immediate handover of power to a civilian transitional government.

“Our demands are clear, fair and legitimate, but the new regime’s old-fashioned coupists are not ready to make change,” it said. “We will resist the emergency, curfew and all the actions announced by the coupists.”

Paramilitary force calls for dialogue with protesters

The commander of Sudan’s Rapid Support Force (RSF), a paramilitary group, says it will not “accept any solutions rejected by the Sudanese people” and calls for the country’s military to start “opening the door for dialogue” with protesters.

Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemeti, says in a statement talks are needed to prevent Sudan from “slipping into chaos”.

The RSF is made up of Arab militias that fought on the side of government forces against rebels in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in the initial years of the conflict.

UN rights chief urges military to refrain from force against protesters

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, says she is “closely monitoring developments” in Sudan and calls on authorities in the country to “refrain from using force against peaceful protestors”.

Bachelet also urges authorities to release all those detained for “their exercise of the freedom of peaceful assembly and expression” while protesting.



Sudanese men sit as they attend a Friday prayers sermon during a rally demanding a civilian body to lead the transition to democracy, outside the army headquarters in Khartoum [Mohammed Hemmeaida/AFP]

“The crisis in Sudan has its roots in human rights grievances – economic, social, civil and political rights. The solution must also be grounded in human rights,” Bachelet says.

Germany calls for ‘peaceful solution’ in Sudan

Germany’s foreign ministry is calling for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Sudan following al-Bashir’s removal.

“We are calling on all sides to exercise restraint, as we need a peaceful solution to the crisis, which fulfils the expectation of the Sudanese people for a political change,” says Christofer Burger, deputy spokesman for the German foreign ministry.

“It is important that the protests can proceed peacefully, and any use of violence against demonstrators is not acceptable,” he adds.

Sudan will ‘not’ extradite al-Bashir to ICC

Omar Zein al-Abideen, member of military council, says Sudan will not extradite al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face trial on charges of genocide.

He says the former president will instead be tried and judged in Sudan. Al-Bashir, who is sought by the ICC for war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region, is currently being held in an undisclosed prison, he says.

“We have our own judiciary … We will not extradite any Sudanese citizens. It’s a dark spot in our history if we extradite him,” al-Abideen says.

Sudan military council says it has no ambition to stay in power

The head of Sudan’s provisional military political council says the army has “no ambition to hold the reins of power”, stressing “we are ready to step down as early as a month if a government is formed”.

Addressing a news conference in the capital, Khartoum, Omar Zein al-Abideen says that the two-year transition period can be as short as one month if managed “without chaos”. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019:

SPA urges ‘revolutionaries’ to keep defying curfew

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), one of the groups at the forefront of the demonstrations, calls on “all the revolutionaries” to continue their sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.

“Stay there and secure the barricades and prepare for Friday prayers and prayers for the absent,” it says in a Twitter post. 

According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, an SPA affiliate, 35 people have been killed since the sit-in started on April 6.

Opposition leader: We will continue until end

Omer Eldigair, the leader of the Sudanese Congress party, rejects the military’s statement.

“We will not accept half victory. We need the whole and complete victory as anticipated and wanted by our martyrs. Thus, the Declaration for Freedom and Change decided to continue the sit-in in front of the General Command’s headquarters,” he says in Khartoum.

“The citizens will also continue to take to the streets and be available in all squares here in the capital and everywhere nationwide. Don’t be scared and don’t retreat as we will continue our path until the end.”



A Sudanese protester demonstrates with a national flag during a demonstration against Sudan’s new ruling military council [Ashraf Shazly/ AFP]

Protesters in Khartoum defy military curfew

Thousands of demonstrators in Sudan’s capital remain outside the army headquarters in defiance of a curfew (10pm-4am) announced earlier by the military.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, says: “People are still in front of the army headquarters although an announcement has been made on state television by the interim military council, which is currently running the country, that the curfew has effectively been put in place and that people should leave the army headquarters and go back to their homes.”

Protesters are chanting their slogan “peace! justice! freedom!” as they continue their sit-in for a sixth consecutive night, according to AFP news agency.

Here’s 10 iconic pictures from Sudan’s popular protests

Ibn Auf sworn in as chief of new military council

Sudan’s state television says Ibn Auf has been sworn in as chief of the new military council that replaced al-Bashir.

Lieutenant General Kamal Abdel Marouf is appointed as his deputy. Footage shows both men taking the oath in the presence of the chief of the country’s judiciary.



Ibn Auf sworn in as head of the military council [Sudan TV via Reuters]

EU urges Sudan army to carry out ‘swift’ handover to civilian rule  

Federica Mogherini, EU diplomatic chief, is urging Sudan’s army to quickly hand over power to a civilian government.  

“Only a credible and inclusive political process can meet the aspirations of the Sudanese people and lead to the political and economic reforms the country needs,” Mogherini says in a statement.

“That can only be achieved through a swift handover to a civilian transitional government,” she adds.

US: Sudanese people should be allowed peaceful transition

The US says it supports a peaceful and democratic Sudan and believes the Sudanese people should be allowed a peaceful transition sooner than two years from now.

“The Sudanese people should determine who leads them in their future,” says Robert Palladino, spokesman for the Department of State. “The Sudanese people have been clear that they have been demanding a civilian-led transition. They should be allowed to do so sooner than two years from now.”

Sudan military seizes power from al-Bashir: Full statement

Read the English translation of the Arabic statement delivered by Ibn Auf’s on al-Bashir’s overthrow and arrest here



Sudanese protesters flash the victory gesture and raise a sign reading in Arabic ‘Just fall, that is all, the whole regime’ during a demonstration against Sudan’s new ruling military council [Ashraf Shazly/AFP]

Awad Ibn Auf, the face of the Sudan coup 

It was the man named by al-Bashir as his deputy just six weeks ago who broke the news to the Sudanese people of the longtime ruler’s removal.

Dressed in army fatigues, General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf declared on Thursday that the 75-year-old had been overthrown and arrested following months of nationwide protests against his three-decade rule.

Who is he? Read our profile of Ibn Auf here

Sudan army ‘to enforce’ night-time curfew

Sudan’s army warns it will enforce a night-time curfew, state media reports, as protesters vowed to continue demonstrating against a military council set up after al-Bashir’s removal.    

The curfew runs “from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am, and all must adhere to it for their own safety,” the army says in a statement carried by the official SUNA news agency. It adds it is “doing its duty to keep them [Sudanese people] and their properties secure”.

Read more about protesters’ vow to continue Khartoum sit-in here

Turkey urges ‘reconciliation’ as UK calls for ‘real change’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes Sudan can overcome its upheaval peacefully through “national conciliation” and urges it to try to operate “a normal democratic process”.

“My greatest hope is that Sudan overcomes this process through national conciliation and peacefully,” he says in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Separately, Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s foreign secretary, says two years of potential military rule in Sudan “is not the answer” for “real change” in the country.

UN chief urges democratic transition in Sudan

Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, is calling for an inclusive transition in Sudan that will meet the “democratic aspirations” of the country’s people.

He also urges “calm and restraint by all” in Sudan.

The United States and five European countries are meanwhile calling for a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on Sudan on Friday.

AU: Army takeover ‘not appropriate response’

The African Union says it is closely monitoring events in Sudan after al-Bashir’s removal by Sudan’s armed forces and calls for calm and restraint.

“The military takeover is not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people,” says a statement from Moussa Faki, chairman of the AU Commission.




Sudan protests explained (8:19)

Egypt backs al-Bashir’s removal 

Sudan’s neighbour Egypt says it supports al-Bashir’s removal and supports the “Sudanese people’s choice and will”.

In a statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry also urges the international community to help Sudan achieve a peaceful transition.

Sudan protesters reject ‘regime coup’, vow more protests

Organisers of the protests for al-Bashir’s removal are rejecting his toppling by the army as a “coup conducted by the regime” and are vowing to keep up their campaign.

“The regime has conducted a military coup by bringing back the same faces and the same institutions which our people rose against,” the Alliance for Freedom and Change says in a statement.



Sudanese demonstrators gather in a street in central Khartoum immediately after al-Bashir was toppled by the army [Ashraf Shazly/ AFP]

“We all reject what has been mentioned in the coup statement issued by the regime … We call on our people to continue their sit-in in front of army headquarters and across all regions and in the streets.”

Sudan’s army arrests president, takes charge

The Sudanese defence minister and vice president says the military has overthrown and arrested al-Bashir and taken charge of the country for the next two years.

In an appearance on state TV, Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf says a state of emergency has been imposed for the next three months. He says the military has suspended the constitution and closed its borders as well as the country’s airspace.

Ibn Auf also imposes a night curfew.

Read more here



A picture dated November 25, 2018, shows Sudanese Defence Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf in Khartoum [File: Ashraf Shazly/AFP]

 Sudan’s al-Bashir ‘steps down’

Government sources and a provincial minister say al-Bashir has stepped down and consultations are under way to set up a transitional council to run the country.

Adel Mahjoub Hussein, minister of production and economic resources in North Darfur, tells Dubai-based al-Hadath TV that “there are consultations to form a military council to take over power after President Bashir stepped down”.

Sudanese sources tell Reuters news agency that al-Bashir is at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese take to the streets in the centre of Khartoum in jubilation, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans. Protesters outside the defence ministry chant: “It has fallen, we won.”

Read more here.

Sudan’s army to make ‘important statement’ amid protests

The Sudanese army plans to make “an important announcement”, state media says, after weeks of protests against longtime leader President Omar al-Bashir.

“The Sudanese army will issue an important statement soon. Wait for it,” an anchor says on state TV.

Organisers of the anti-al-Bashir protests are urging people to converge and join an ongoing sit-in that has been under way in Khartoum since the weekend.


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