Sudan army ousts Bashir, protestors vow further demos

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The news of the ousting of President al-Bashir, who has ruled for 30 years, was received with jubilation, dancing and chanting after the defence minister announced that the army will oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections. They have grown to become the biggest challenge yet to Bashir's 30-year rule.

Gen. Awad Mohammed Ibn Auf, the vice-president and defence minister who was appointed by Bashir before announcing the president's removal on state TV, is "very much a symbol of the regime", said Ahmed Soliman, a research fellow at the United Kingdom -based think-tank Chatham House.

Sudan's army has also set up a transitional military council to take control of the country for a temporary duration of two years, as per a televised statement.

Few are expected to miss Bashir, who is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court related to crimes committed in Sudan's Darfur region and presided over a government accused of corruption, violence and economic mismanagement.

A rally outside military headquarters in Khartoum demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir has been ongoing since Saturday April 6. Some shouted, "They removed a thief and brought in a thief!" Al-Bashir first ridiculed the protests, saying: "They talk of an Arab Spring".

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The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah stressed in a circular issued by its Minister Dr. Benten that the companies and institutions of Umrah are committed to continuing to provide services and accommodation to all Sudanese Umrah performers.

The protesters - including opposition politicians, activists, civil society, judiciary, students, public sector workers etc - grew in number and started calling for the end of the Bashir regime.

"Since 1989, Sudan's Omar al-Bashir has ruled his nation with an iron fist", said CBN News Senior International Correspondent George Thomas. He added: "Today's events should also serve as a wake-up call to leaders around the world who think they can get away with denying people their basic rights". After he was released, he headed straight to the sit-in to continue protesting. "We insist on a civil government, and we don't support any coup". In the following years, he purged Islamists and insiders from his party, and demonstrated a knack for political survival.

Sudan analysts have warned that those forces will begin to tussle for dominance once the long-time ruler is out of the picture.

Some Sudanese have been protesting against al-Bashir's government since December. Moreover, different global powers support different armed groups.

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Footage of thousands of civilians taking to the streets has been circulating on social media, namely of of female protesters referred to as "Nubian queens" leading anti-government chants. Tired after a long civil war and genocide claims, which resulted in the partition of the country into north and south, Sudan, with a population of almost 40 million, attracts the attention of worldwide and regional powers.

Omar Al-Bashir has ruled Sudan for nearly as long as I have been alive; yet throughout my 37 years I have heard nothing but criticism of the doom he has brought upon his country.

The sit-in marked a new stage of the protests, with numbers swelling far beyond those of previous demonstrations, organisers said. "He (al-Bashir) has created multiple security forces, militias and has an extremely powerful intelligence and security service which we've seen trying to infiltrate these mass protests".

Mr Bashir is accused of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity there by the ICC.

He came to power after the ousting of Islamist Mohamed Morsi who himself was elected into power after the uprising that felled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. As of Thursday morning, the junta has not indicated whether it will extradite him to stand trial at the ICC.

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