Sudan’s strongman Omar Al-Bashir is reportedly being forced by the country’s armed forces to step down as President amid raging protests against his 30-year rule.
Diplomatic sources told ChimpReports on Thursday morning that more than 50 armoured military vehicles have today surrounded the presidential palace in Khartoum.
The Sudanese army has since said it would make a special announcement later today, fueling rumours of Bashir’s toppling.
On Friday morning, the army increased deployment of armed personnel in Khartoum.
Khartoum International Airport has been closed by security forces while hundreds of Bashir’s aides and Special Forces guards are being detained.
The military also is said to have taken over the public television and radio station where the announcements will be relayed out today.
At 7:00am, an official told us that Sudan’s top military brass was holding an emergency meeting possibly to set up a transitional council.
Protesters have already returned to the streets.
Bashir has been under pressure in recent months to leave power.
The last few days saw security forces intensify the use of tear gas and live ammunition against demonstrators in mass-protests that began last December, over rising food and fuel prices and deteriorating living standards.
Heavy gunfire was heard outside the Sudanese army headquarters on Tuesday, where thousands of protesters have been staging a sit-in over the past three days, calling for an end to President Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade rule.
There were reports of dozens of other protests around the country, and eye witnesses told news outlets that some soldiers, had moved to protect peaceful demonstrators on Sunday night, when other units under the direct command of the president, had begun using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the sit-in. Reports suggest that at least six protesters were killed on Saturday in the capital, when crowds began to march.
But the army appeared to have switched its loyalty to the protesters on this week.
Army spokesperson Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami described as “misinformation” plans by the army to disperse the mass sit-in Khartoum by force.
Bashir has little support in the international community due to his poor human rights record.
The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was following the demonstrations closely, and called on the Government to show “full respect for human rights, including the freedom of assembly, the freedom of expression, and the release of detained protestors.”