After three decades of rule, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been arrested and forced from power in a military coup.
Bashir’s government has been dissolved, and a military council has assumed control for two years to oversee a transition of power, Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said in a televised statement Thursday.
The President’s removal comes amid a popular uprising against his rule that has seen thousands take to the streets across the northeastern African country. The largely peaceful protests have escalated in recent days as armed government groups engaged in deadly clashes.
As news of Bashir’s ouster spread, people flooded the streets of Khartoum, the capital, in celebration, according to social media reports and witnesses on the ground.
Those jubilant scenes came to an abrupt halt after the coup announcement, however, according to a CNN stringer on the ground. Chanting against the defense minister began shortly after the military’s announcement.
“The people want to topple Ibn Auf,” a crowd chanted in Khartoum on Thursday.
A three-month state of emergency has been declared, and a one-month curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. put in place. Airspace and crossings will be closed for 24 hours, and medical facilities will be secured.
Sudan’s Cabinet, its National Assembly and municipal bodies have been dissolved, and the country’s constitution suspended, Ibn Auf said. The judiciary, public prosecution, embassies and diplomatic entities will continue to function as normal.
All political prisoners, detained by security services since the wave of anti-government demonstrations gripped the nation in December, will be released, the defense minister added.