Khartoum (TLS) – Sudan’s Army arrested former leader Omar al-Bashir and took over the governance of the nation while declaring a state of emergency for three months.
President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years, was overthrown Thursday by the armed forces which announced a two-year period of military rule to be followed by elections. The army also announced a state of emergency for three months.
In an address on state television, Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said Bashir, 75, was under arrest in a “safe place.” An army-led transitional government has been formed who is running the country.
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.
The Sudanese armed forces have taken full control of the African nation and stated, in the release, that the military will manage the affairs of the country imminently and discharge the burden of governance by a military council.
Multiple media reports, including Arabiya, stated that the residence of al-Bashir was reportedly surrounded and eventually entered by military forces, and former and current senior government officials, guards and other political leaders have been detained.
The international airport in capital Khartoum was closed, according to Al Hadath TV.
Arabiya also announced that the military had taken control of the state television and radio signals.
Names of Bashir’s possible successors that have been circulating include the Defense Minister, an ex-military intelligence chief, also an Islamist, and former army chief of staff Emad Din Adawi.
Omar Saleh Sennar, a senior member of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, one of the main protest groups, said it expected to negotiate with the military over a transfer of power.
“We will only accept a transitional civilian government,” Sennar told Reuters.
Kamal Omar, 38, another demonstrator, said: “We will continue our sit-in until we prevail.”
Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is facing an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to the 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.