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Sudan protests continue, demand civilian government

Thousands of Sudanese demonstrators continue demonstrations outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan on 11 April 2019. [Ömer Erdem - Anadolu Agency]
Thousands of Sudanese demonstrators continue demonstrations outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan on 11 April 2019. [Ömer Erdem - Anadolu Agency]

Thousands of Sudanese demonstrators camped outside the defence ministry in Khartoum to push for a civilian government, defying a curfew and calling for mass prayers after the military overthrew Omar Al-Bashir after 30 years of autocratic rule.

Demonstrators who have been holding almost daily anti-Bashir protests rejected the decision to set up a transitional military council to run the country for two years and vowed to continue protests until a civilian government is established.

Activists called for mass Friday prayers outside the defence ministry compound, a focal point for protests.

Activists wearing yellow vests controlled traffic around the compound this morning and managed foot traffic to and from the sit-in, a Reuters witness said. They also blocked a major bridge in central Khartoum.

Bashir, 75, had faced 16 weeks of demonstrations against him. Announcing the president’s overthrow, Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said elections would be held at the end of the two-year interim period.

Sudan's military removes al-Bashir [Cartoon/Arabi21]

Sudan’s military removes al-Bashir [Cartoon/Arabi21]

World powers, including the United States and Britain, said they supported a peaceful and democratic transition sooner than two years.

Speaking on state television yesterday, Ibn Auf said Al-Bashir was being detained in a “safe place” and a military council – which it was later announced he is heading – would now run the country.

Sudanese sources told Reuters that Al-Bashir was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”.

Ibn Auf also announced a state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire and the suspension of the constitution.

State television said there would be a curfew from 10pm to 4am.

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