Sudan Leader Omar Al-Bashir Ousted in Military Coup
Khartoum, Sudan – All h*** broke loose in the capital of Sudan on Thursday as the Sudanese military removed their leader, Omar al-Bashir, from power and arrested him. Al-Bashir had served as head of the country since he led the last coup in 1989. There have been months worth of protests against him. He is wanted on a warrant by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur.
The Darfur genocide was a massacre in 2003 of between 200,000 and 400,000 people. The issue is that the leader of this coup, Awad Ibn Ouf, has been on a US list of sanctions for his part in the Darfur genocide, according to Fox news. So it’s “out of the frying pan into the fire” for Sudan.
Army General Awad Ibn Ouf spoke on State TV that the Army was going to oversee a two year transition period, along with placing a 3 month state of emergency on the country, a curfew, and closure of the airport for 24 hours.
Protesters were cheering the military, but the group behind the protests feared that a two year transition would just redo that same old problems as they’ve had all along. And would the military actually hold elections once they had a grip on power? One of the main leaders of the protesters, Alaa Salah, stated that only a civilian council would be the best route forward. A great many of the protesters are women.
The main group behind the demonstrations immediately rejected the military’s statement and urged people to remain at a sit-in outside army headquarters.
Protesters want a civilian council to lead the transition rather than a military one, correspondents say.
The people do not want a transitional military council. Change will not happen with Bashir’s entire regime hoodwinking Sudanese civilians through a military coup. We want a civilian council to head the transition. #Sudan— Alaa Salah (@iAlaaSalah) April 11, 2019
We are waiting for a statement by the army. We will only accept a transitional civilian government composed of the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change. No other plan will be acceptable. #DemocraticSudan— Alaa Salah (@iAlaaSalah) April 11, 2019
Two third of the protesters in Sudan are women. Women are half the society. You cannot have a revolution without women. You cannot have democracy without women. We believed we could, so we did. #EqualityForAll— Alaa Salah (@iAlaaSalah) April 11, 2019
American citizens in the country were advised to shelter in place as the protests continue. The military was said to be “victimizing” some bystanders. And based on their history, that’s no surprise.
The US Embassy advised:
Continued civil unrest. There are on-going demonstrations at Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Headquarters and throughout the city.
At 1:45 pm, General Awad Ibn Auf announced the takeover of the Government by a military council. He announced three months of state of emergency, a curfew from 10 pm to 3 am, and closure of the airport and all land borders for a 24 hour period. The Embassy confirmed that the airport has been closed since 2:30 on April 11, 2019.
All U.S. Government personnel are required to shelter in place beginning at 7 pm tonight until further notice.
The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy is closed for routine business on Thursday, April 11, 2019.
Demonstrations and military activity may continue day and night throughout Khartoum. Based on recent protest activity, multiple, spontaneous protests throughout Khartoum could occur in addition to the planned demonstrations. Demonstrations could escalate in intensity quickly. Sudanese security forces have used large amounts of teargas, batons, and frequent arrests to break up demonstrations. Bystanders have also been victimized by security forces’ actions. Protests may occur without warning at any time.
Security forces have enhanced authority to detain and arrest anybody they deem to be undermining public order, including protestors or those suspected of supporting the protests. Arbitrary detentions, including of foreigners, have been reported across the country. The Sudanese government does not recognize dual citizenship and is likely to consider U.S.-Sudanese dual citizens as Sudanese citizens only.
Featured photo: screenshot of Awad Ibn Ouf via Sudan State TV