Sudan army overthrows president al-Bashir after Popular Protests

Sudan President Bashir STEPS DOWN as tens of thousands march in protests against regime

Sudan President Bashir STEPS DOWN as tens of thousands march in protests against regime

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday expressed his hope that Sudan can overcome its upheaval peacefully through "national consensus" and urged it to try to operate "a normal democratic process", after the country's longtime President Omar al-Bashir who was overthrown and arrested by the military. "There is also potential for increased violence and fragmentation if demands for a genuine transition towards an inclusive transitional civilian government are not met".

Protest leaders, who earlier had said they would not accept a military coup, called for demonstrations to continue.

State TV ceased regular broadcasts, showing only the statement promising the statement and urging the public to "wait for it".

The whereabouts of the autocratic leader, who is a pariah in many countries and is also wanted by the worldwide war crimes tribunal for atrocities in Darfur, were not immediately known.

Calls for Bashir to resign reached fever pitch in recent days, as security forces fired tear gas at thousands of protesters gathered outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.

The dysfunctional administration lasted only a few years until al-Bashir - a career army officer - allied with Islamist hard-liners and toppled it in a coup in 1989.

After months of protests over an ailing economy and a bid to oust Bashir, the crisis escalated over the weekend when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir's residence is located.

All that raised the possibility that what was playing out in Khartoum on Thursday was a military takeover and removal of al-Bashir.

Opposition leaders appealed to the protesters to remain peaceful as social media showed videos of people tearing down banners with Mr.al-Bashir's portrait and breaking into the home of a senior government official. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

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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.

Bashir was born on January 1, 1944 to a poor farming family in Hosh Bannaga, a small village consisting mainly of mud houses and dusty streets on the eastern bank of the Nile River, some 150 km (93 miles) north of the capital Khartoum.

Amnesty International's Secretary General Kumi Naidoo praised the courage of the Sudanese people but said he was "alarmed by the raft of emergency measures" announced by the military.

Al-Bashir is under house arrest, he said.

They began in the northern town of Atbara on 19 December 2018, focused on high food prices, and quickly spread to other towns and cities across Sudan. Dozens of people have been killed.

Coups are not a new experience for Sudan, which has experienced five of them since gaining independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt in 1956.

The protests that erupted in December have been the biggest challenge to his rule.

The Turkish leader has hosted al-Bashir in the past and defended him over accusations of war crimes, saying "a Muslim can not commit genocide".

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