Sudan army declares state of emergency after ousting Bashir

Khartoum Sudan

CC BY-SA 2.0 Juri Knauth Khartoum Thousands of Protesters Heading to Anti Government Rally in Sudan

"We expect that whatever the outcome, Russian-Sudanese relations" will be a priority for Khartoum, Peskov said. "We of course support the continuation of these deep-rooted ties". Turkey has denied claims that it wants to construct a naval base there.

In 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) accused al-Bashir of carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western region of Darfur - a 2003 armed conflict that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians - and issued an arrest warrant against him.

"What the bargain seems to have been is to avert a civil war, for now", said Alex De Waal, the executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University. In the weeks after, protests turned deadly and spread from smaller cities, engulfing the capital Khartoum and major metropolitan areas like Omdurman.

But it was a government decision to triple bread prices that brought protesters onto the streets in December previous year, as the country grappled with regular shortages of food, medicines and foreign currency.

The veteran leader, who swept to power in a 1989 coup, was one of Africa's longest serving presidents.

A young woman who became a symbol of the protests also dismissed the military announcement.

President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan in autocratic style for 30 years, was overthrown and arrested in a coup by the armed forces on Thursday, but protesters took to the streets demanding the military hand over power to civilians.

The announcement came as huge crowds of people thronged central Khartoum after state television said the army was set to make an "important announcement soon".

"Free and fair elections" will take place after the two years, the defence minister added.

The minister also announcedthe suspension of the Constitution, the dissolution of the National Assembly and a three-month state of emergency for three months. He also said the government and the presidency have been dissolved, and imposed a night curfew.

The military stepped in and they earlier on in the day had informed al-Bashir that he was no longer president.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese were on the streets of the capital, Khartoum, on Thursday after conflicting signs of how the military would approach the protests, which began mid-December over soaring living costs that sent inflation rocketing to about 70 percent.

Al-Bashir was at the presidential residence under "heavy guard", Reuters reported.

The protests against al-Bashir gained a boost last week after Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in response to weeks of similar protests against his almost 20-year rule. The activists spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

The army's latest movements come as Bashir's embattled ruling National Congress Party planned a rival rally to defend the 75-year-old, urging people to attend a so-called "million-man" march on Thursday.

Bashir had faced months of protests and calls to step down since late a year ago, sparked by an economic crisis.

"We say to the youth, this country is yours, protect it, and if it goes up in smoke we won't be refugees, we will die here", he said in January, wearing white robes and waving his trademark cane. The officials, who hold high positions in the government and the military, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

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