Sudan Military Council To Rule For 2 Years, Airspace And Ports Closed, State Of Emergency Declared

The Sudanese Army has announced that Sudan is now in a state of emergency status for three months and that a "transitional military council" would be formed to rule the country for a two-year period after that. Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf made the announcement on state TV in Khartoum on Thursday.

As we reported earlier in the day the country's 75-year-old president Omar al-Bashir was arrested by the Sudanese Army after a lighting fast military coup d'état, which involved very little gunfire or violence. 

Sudanese Defence Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf

The military now has Sudan's former strongman, who ruled for three decades since 1989 after himself coming to power in a coup, under house arrest and "heavy guard" in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

It's widely believed, though unconfirmed, that the country's Defense Minister Brigadier General Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, who was appointed as Sudan's first vice president last February and acting Defense minister, was the one ultimately behind Bashir's removal.

Defense chief over the Sudanese armed forces, Gen. Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf, declared a state of emergency and a 2-year transitional period:  

The Sudanese Defense Minister also confirmed that al-Bashir was in a "safe location" and that the state of emergency would include a one-month curfew, the closure of airspace, ports and crossings in Sudan, and the dissolving of the presidency and cabinet, according to a translation of the remarks by Middle East news source Al-Masdar.

It was further noted the Army will oversee a "transition period" which "will end with federal elections."

However, the possibility for continued violence remains high in the historically tumultuous northeast African nation, given the coup follows months of protests which saw dozens of demonstrators killed. 

Though there's current festivities on the streets of Khartoum celebrating al-Bashir’s resignation and arrest, time will tell if the Army keeps order and more crucially if it will be true to its word regarding transition to civilian rule. 

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previously

On Thursday, the 75-year-old three decade long president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir stepped down after a lighting fast military coup d'état, which involved very little gunfire or violence. 

The military now has Sudan's former strongman, who ruled since 1989 after himself coming to power in a coup, under house arrest and "heavy guard" in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. It's widely believed, though unconfirmed, that the country's Defense Minister Brigadier General Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, who was appointed as Sudan's first vice president last February and acting Defense minister, is the one behind Bashir's removal.

Three decade ruling President Omar al-Bashir, via Reuters

There are reports of a festive mood in Khartoum, with people celebrating in the streets and general optimism that a military appointed transition council will result in civilian elections and rule. 

Protesters outside the defense ministry are changing: "It has fallen, we won," according to Reuters. 

The army is reportedly in full control of the capital, including all government buildings and streets, though are reportedly allowing full movement of protesters and civilians. 

Hours after Bashir's detention the Sudanese Intelligence Agency announced via state TV that it has ordered the release of all political detainees, official news agency (SUNA) reported.

It is as yet unclear what will now happen to Bashir

He has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is facing an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to death of an estimated 300,000 people.

Bashir, a former paratrooper who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1989, has been a divisive figure who has managed his way through one internal crisis after another while withstanding attempts by the West to weaken him.

Sudan has suffered prolonged periods of isolation since 1993, when the United States added Bashir’s government to its list of terrorism sponsors for harboring Islamist militants. Washington followed up with sanctions four years later.

The latest crisis has escalated since the weekend, when thousands of demonstrators began camping out outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir's residence is located. — Reuters

Bashir's personal guard has been replaced and currently a military council is communicating to the public via state TV. 

The command of the Army responsible for toppling Bashir is said to be coordinating its contacts with other parts of the Army posted throughout the country. 

The military has been behind every ruler of Sudan for the past 54 years, and though now peaceful transition to democratic civilian leadership has been promised by a temporary military council — which could run things inside Sudan for up to another year — the prospect of further turmoil and unrest is likely.