Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir has stepped down and consultations are underway to set up a transitional council to run the country, government sources and a provincial minister said on Thursday.
The minister of production and economic resources in North Darfur Adel Mahjoub Hussein told the Dubai-based al Hadath TV that “there are consultations to form a military council to take over power after President Bashir stepped down.”
Sudan state television said earlier on Thursday that the armed forces would make an important announcement soon, amid speculation that a coup attempt could be under way against President Bashir following months of protests against his 30-year rule.
“The armed forces will present an important statement shortly. Be ready for it,” the announcement on state television read, without giving further details.
The 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.
Clashes erupted on Tuesday between soldiers trying to protect the protesters and intelligence and security personnel trying to disperse them.
At least 11 people died in the clashes, including six members of the armed forces, the information minister said citing a police report.
Since December 19, Sudan has been rocked by persistent protests sparked by the government’s attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis that has led to fuel and cash shortages
Opposition figures have called for the military to help negotiate an end to Bashir’s nearly three decades in power and a transition to democracy.
The demonstrators at the defence ministry had said that they wanted to submit a petition for the armed forces to take their side in their attempt to remove Bashir and his administration.