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Sudanese spill into Khartoum’s streets cheering news of president’s resignation

A statement from the military is expected to be aired by state TV and radio stations shortly

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Thousands of the Sudanese citizens have filled the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, celebrating the apparent ouster of President Omar al-Bashir and the military seizing control. The Al Jazeera TV channel reported on Thursday that military vehicles are deployed near the Presidential palace.

Arab TV channels show crowds of people in the streets of Khartoum, many waving national flags, and chanting in support of the army, shouting that the "regime has fallen".

People have gathered near army headquarters and the presidential palace, they also have been marching or driving to the center of the city. Clashes or unrest have not been reported. There are posts emerging on social media of isolated incidents and localized shootings, but they haven’t been officially confirmed.

At the same time, both TV and social media say that there are no police units in Khartoum, soldiers are patrolling the city, and armored vehicles have been rolling through the captial’s streets. Main roads in the city are also being monitored by the military under army transport supervision. The military has taken control of TV and radio broadcasting stations, and the Khartoum international airport has been closed.

Army arrests

According to the Dubai-based Al-Hadath TV channel, both incumbent and former top Sudanese officials from the entourage of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir have been arrested, such as head of the Republican Guard and former Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, leader of the ruling National Congress party Ahmed Haroun, as well as former First Vice President Ali Osman Taha.

Earlier reports stated that the Military Council of Sudan was making arrangements to assume power in the country for a year. According to the officially unconfirmed reports emerging from the country, the Sudanese military has staged a coup d’etat to oust President Omar al-Bashir from power, completely abolishing his authority. A statement from the military is expected to be aired by state TV and radio stations shortly. Some time ago, a closed-door meeting of the Sudanese Chief of Staff office began in Khartoum without the president.

There are no accurate reports on the whereabouts of President Omar al-Bashir. According to some reports, he has been placed under house arrest by the military who have pulled off this coup d’etat. Other reports said that he had fled the country. At the same time, the Al-Hadath TV channel stated that his jet was grounded on Wednesday morning when the president tried to flee Sudan and find refuge in a neighboring country.

Since last December, Sudan has been mired in mass protests sparked by surging prices on fuel, bread and flour, as well as severe shortages of staple foods. On February 23, President al-Bashir dissolved the cabinet, dismissed heads of all provinces and declared a nationwide state of emergency for a year to take emergency measures to pull the country out of the severe economic crisis. Subsequently, the parliament cut the state of emergency to six months.

Omar al-Bashir took over the country in 1993, after staging a military coup. The upcoming presidential elections in Sudan are scheduled for 2020. Initially, al-Bashir did not plan to take part in them, but the ruling National Congress party said it would back its leader for another term.