Sudan army confirms it toppled, arrested veteran leader Omar al-Bashir

Khartoum Sudan

Following months of protests in Sudan demanding that President Omar Al-Bashir steps down, on Thursday, the army has closed the worldwide airport and taken over the state radio and television.

It also called on demonstrators to remain in the streets "until power is handed over to a civilian government that reflects the will of the revolution".

The 75-year-old leader has stepped down, according to Reuters, which also reported that consultations were underway to set up a transitional council.

It came after soldiers seized control of TV networks and said an "important statement" would be made soon, telling people to "wait for it".

Al-Bashir had always been a pariah in many countries and he's even wanted by the worldwide war crimes tribunal for atrocities in Darfur.

Thousands of protesters responded to the call and gathered in front of Sudan's army headquarters calling for the removal of Bashir's government.

Protesters outside the defence ministry chanted: "It has fallen, we won".

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir chairs a meeting of leaders of some political parties in the capital Khartoum, March 7, 2019. The action of the military eventually siding with their fellow countrymen has helped bring Bashir's government down. There were also reports that several senior figures close to Bashir in the ruling National Congress party had been detained.

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He denounced al-Bashir's government for "bad administration, systemic corruption, absence of justice", adding: The poor became poorer and the rich became richer.

In recent months, Sudan has seen shortages of fuel and sharp increases on food prices.

The military, however, has seemed more equivocal, stating its support the country's "leadership" and pledging to protect its "achievements" - without mentioning al-Bashir by name.

"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", Federica Mogherini, the bloc's foreign policy chief, said in a statement. Activists behind anti-government protests in Sudan say security forces have killed at least seven people, including a military officer, in another attempt to break up the sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum. "That's no problem. If someone comes in wearing khaki, we have no objection", Bashir, wearing his military uniform, told soldiers at a base in Atbara, the northern city where protests erupted. Al-Bashir banned unauthorized public gatherings and granted sweeping powers to the police since imposing a state of emergency in February.

Rebels from Darfur and the government signed a peace deal in 2010, a year after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Bashir for atrocities committed in the region.

Since taking office in what was then Africa's largest country, he fought a protracted civil war with southern rebels which ended with the secession of South Sudan in 2011, and the loss of more than 70 percent of Sudan's oil.

"We are waiting for big news", one protester told AFP from the sit-in.

Mr Adawi is said to be favoured by regional neighbours at odds with Mr al-Bashir over his Islamist leanings.

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