Sudan's Omar al-Bashir forced out in coupBy Eliza Mackintosh and James Griffiths
Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir has stepped down and is under house arrest, multiple sources told CNN.
His personal guard has been replaced and is under close watch.
Bashir had ruled Sudan for three decades. He is accused of war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court for his government's actions in Darfur.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has called on protesters to join a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum and to continue their protest even after an anticipated military announcement.
“The December revolution won because of you,” the SPA, an umbrella organization of doctors, lawyers and journalists that has led many of the demonstrations, said in a statement on Thursday.
“We will protect our revolution until all its goals are completely achieved,” it added.
Thousands took to the streets Thursday morning in Sudan to celebrate the anticipated ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.
A CNN stringer on the ground saw thousands marching towards the military headquarters in the capital, dancing, drumming and chanting against the government. Cars honked their horns in support and women ululated in celebration.
People chanted: “He is a coward and he is fallen!”
There is heavy deployment by the Rapid Security Forces in the capital especially on the main bridge on connecting Khartoum with Um Dorman. They didn’t engage with the crowds, CNN’s stringer reported.
Military troops however responded to the celebrating protesters, flashing the victory sign. One soldier was seen patting a protester’s back to congratulate him.
Sudanese activists have circulated a statement from a purported Military Transitional Council announcing the removal of President Omar Al-Bashir from power.
People are flooding the streets in Khartoum in celebration, according to social media reports and witnesses on the ground.
Earlier this month, an undercover CNN team in Khartoum witnessed the brutal crackdown on protests which began over a rise in the cost of living but have escalated into a push for President Omar al-Bashir’s removal.
At demonstrations in a residential area of the capital in mid-March, CNN filmed the indiscriminate violence that has become synonymous with Sudan’s security forces.
Soon after one rally started, national security agents descended on the crowds, sending people scattering into alleyways and neighborhood homes.
We sought refuge in a nearby safe house, where a local family provides shelter to protesters – and people like us – who are trying to avoid detection. Getting caught could have meant death.
People spoke in hushed tones as they dashed quickly through the gates and inside, one whispering “God protect us” as they locked the door.
The woman is wearing a long white dress and golden moon earrings. She's chanting from the top of a car while surrounded by a sea of protesters holding smartphones, all trying to capture the moment.
This scene was captured in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, on Monday during the third day of a mass sit-in outside the presidential compound and army headquarters.
Lana Haroun, who snapped the image that has since gone viral, told CNN when she saw the woman she just ran toward her and took three or four photos.
"She was trying to give everyone hope and positive energy and she did it," Haroun said. "She was representing all Sudanese women and girls and she inspired every woman and girl at the sit-in. She was telling the story of Sudanese women. ... She was perfect."
Sudan State TV says the country’s armed forces will be making a statement shortly.