Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir is under house arrest in the wake of Thursday morning’s military coup which has forced him to step down after 30 years in power marked by a brutal and dictatorial leadership, according to reports.
Earlier, government sources confirmed Bashir had stepped down in the wake of country-wide anti-government protests that have engulfed the country since last December. The military has taken over national TV and radio and arrested a number of former and current top leaders. Khartoum Airport has been closed.
The headquarters of the notorious and feared National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) – which has been responsible for much of the killing of protesters, their arrest and torture in prison – has also come under attack from protesters, as well as some members of the military as they free the remaining protesters arrested by the NISS. The action of the military eventually siding with their fellow countrymen has helped bring Bashir’s government down.
Swarms of euphoric protesters are thronging the streets of the capital with some mounting military vehicles chanting “We have won, we have won”.
A military council is to take his place with a major announcement expected shortly by the military which has taken over the national TV and radio station as protesters take to the streets yet again.
Mumtaz News and Al Arabiya reported on Thursday morning that in addition to the above developments, Khartoum Airport has been closed and a number of top leaders arrested as Army chiefs hold a meeting as reports of a coup circulate.
These breaking developments come after the spokesperson for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Ahmed Khalifa Al Shami, retracted a Wednesday statement in which he said a decision to forcibly disperse a major sit-in by protesters outside army headquarters had been cancelled.
Bashir had ordered his security forces to break up the mass protest which began over the weekend. However, military leaders argued against the move stating that it would lead to large losses of life.
Furthermore, in a growing sign of military disapproval, junior officers clashed with security forces as they tried to protect protesters leading to a number of deaths, including members of the forces.