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PROTESTERS demanded the Sudanese army hand power over to the people today after it announced it had ousted President Omar al-Bashir and would impose military rule.
Rumours Mr Bashir had been deposed circulated in the morning after state TV said the military would make an announcement later in the day.
Defence Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf appeared on TV in the afternoon in military garb and said the military had arrested Mr Bashir.
“I, the defence minister, the head of the supreme security committee, announce the uprooting of this regime, seizing its head after detaining him in a safe place,” he said.
He denounced Mr Bashir’s government, saying the military had long been observing its “bad administration, systemic corruption, absence of justice, the blocked horizon for all people especially the youth.
“The poor become poorer and the rich become richer. Hope in equality has been lost.”
Mr Ibn Ouf said the military would appoint a council and rule the country for two years before “free and fair elections” will take place.
He added that the army had suspended the constitution, dissolved the government, declared a three-month state of emergency, imposed a one-month curfew, and closed the country’s borders and airpace.
Later in the day the National Intelligence and Security Service announced it would release all political prisoners.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an alliance of activists, teachers, lawyers and trade unionists and one of the most prominent groups organising the huge protests, urged people to carry on protesting.
“The regime’s authorities carried out a coup aimed at reproducing the system and supporting its existing protagonists,” the SPA posted on social media.
“All of this runs counter to the struggle of our majestic people.
“We, the forces of freedom and change, reject the words of the declaration issued by the coup-makers.
“We call on our great people to continue their brave sit-in in front of the headquarters of the armed forces and to occupy public space and streets all over the country to keep control over the entire Sudanese territory that we have acquired so far.
“We assert that the people of Sudan will not accept anything less than a civil transitional authority composed of a patriotic group of experts who were not involved with the tyrannical regime.
“The leadership of our people’s armed forces ought to hand over power to the people, according to what was expressed in the declaration of freedom and change.”
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