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Sudan army declares state of emergency after ousting Bashir

Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the army on Thursday, brought down by months of anti-government protests against his decades of iron-fisted rule of almost 30 years.

FILE: Sudanese protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on 8 April 2019.  Picture: AFP

KHARTOUM - The Sudanese army has declared a state of emergency and has implemented a nationwide curfew after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir was ousted by the army on Thursday, brought down by months of anti-government protests against his decades of iron-fisted rule of almost 30 years.

A military council is expected to be formed to run the country before elections can be held.

Bashir had faced months of protests and calls to step down since late last year, sparked by an economic crisis.

POLITICAL DETAINEES FREED

Sudan's powerful intelligence service announced on Thursday it was freeing all the country's political detainees, state media said.

"The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has announced it is releasing all political detainees across the country," the official Suna news agency said.

The announcement came as huge crowds of people thronged central Khartoum after state television said the army was set to make an "important announcement soon".

But in the eastern cities of Kasala and Port Sudan, protesters stormed NISS buildings after the releases failed to materialise, witnesses said.

Protesters approached the NISS building in Kasala demanding that officers free their prisoners, a witness told AFP by telephone from the city.

"But NISS officers fired in the air after which protesters stormed the building and looted all the equipment inside," he said.

Protesters chanting slogans against the 30-year rule of President Bashir also stormed an NISS building in Port Sudan, a witness said.

The raids on NISS buildings came despite a call by protest organisers for demonstrators to refrain from attacking government figures or buildings.

"We are calling on our people to control themselves and not to attack anybody or government and private properties," the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the umbrella group that is spearheading the protest movement, said in a statement.

"Anyone found doing this will be punished by law. Our revolution is peaceful, peaceful, peaceful."

Key dates in the life of Omar al-Bashir, leader of Sudan since 1989. Picture: AFP

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