The Dallas Morning News

Coup ends Sudan leader’s 30year rule

Twoyear planned rule, however, further angers protesters

- By MAGGIE MICHAEL and SAMY MAGDY

Sudan’s military overthrows President Omar albashir after months of bloody street protests over his repressive 30year rule.

CAIRO — Sudan’s military overthrew President Omar albashir on Thursday after months of bloody street protests over his repressive 30year rule. But prodemocra­cy demonstrat­ors were left angry and disappoint­ed when the defense minister announced the armed forces will govern the country for the next two years.

Albashir’s fall came just over a week after Algeria’s longruling, militaryba­cked president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was driven from power.

Together, the developmen­ts echoed the Arab Spring uprisings eight years ago that brought down entrenched rulers across the Mideast. But like those popular movements of 2011, the new ones face a similar dynamic — a struggle over what happens after an autocrat’s removal.

Protest organizers in Sudan denounced the army’s takeover and vowed to continue rallies until a civilian transition­al government is formed. Tens of thousands of demonstrat­ors were massed at a sitin they have held for nearly a week outside the military’s headquarte­rs in central Khartoum, the capital.

After the televised announceme­nt of albashir’s arrest by Defense Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf many protesters chanted angrily, “The first one fell, the second will, too!” Some shouted, “They removed a thief and brought in a thief!”

Ibn Ouf said a military council that will be formed by the army, intelligen­ce agencies and security apparatus will rule for two years, after which “free and fair elections” will take place.

He also announced that the military had suspended the constituti­on, dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency for three months, closed the country’s borders and airspace and imposed a curfew starting Thursday night.

In the wake of the coup, internatio­nal human rights groups urged Sudanese military authoritie­s to hand over the 75yearold albashir to the Internatio­nal Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his deadly campaign against insurgents in the country’s Darfur region.

Amnesty Internatio­nal’s secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, said albashir is wanted for “some of the most odious human rights violations of our generation.”

Albashir, whose whereabout­s were not immediatel­y known, came to power in a coup of his own in 1989, backed by the military and Islamist hardliners. He kept an iron grip on power and brutally suppressed any opposition, while monopolizi­ng the economy through allied businessme­n.

Over his three decades in control, he was forced to allow the secession of South Sudan after years of war, a huge blow to the north’s economy. He became an internatio­nal pariah over the bloodletti­ng in Darfur. And the U.S. targeted his government repeatedly with sanctions and airstrikes for his support of Islamic militants.

 ?? Ahmed Mustafa/agence Francepres­se ?? Members of the Sudanese military gather in a street in central Khartoum, celebratin­g after Omar albashir, one of Africa's longestser­ving presidents, was toppled by the army.
Ahmed Mustafa/agence Francepres­se Members of the Sudanese military gather in a street in central Khartoum, celebratin­g after Omar albashir, one of Africa's longestser­ving presidents, was toppled by the army.
 ?? 2010 File Photo ?? Omar albashir had come to power in a coup of his own in 1989.
2010 File Photo Omar albashir had come to power in a coup of his own in 1989.

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