Omar al-Bashir deposed

Sudan President Bashir STEPS DOWN as tens of thousands march in protests against regime

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been ousted and arrested following almost four months of protests against his 30-year rule, the defense minister says. "That's why demonstrators are calling for a complete overhaul of the government and a peaceful transfer of power to civilian authorities", he said.

This political insider says that Sudanese Army's Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Kamal Abdel-Marouf is their top choice to head the transitional council.

It came after soldiers seized control of TV networks and said an "important statement" would be made soon, telling people to "wait for it".

He became notorious for a brutal crackdown on insurgents in the western Darfur region that made him an global pariah, wanted by the worldwide Criminal Court for war crimes.

To up the pressure on him, protestors camped in front of his residence and army headquarters in the capital this past week, and called on the military to intervene and rally on their side.

So the military getting rid of the president is a coup within the regime that protected him for 30 years.

Sudanese military vehicles were deployed on key roads, bridges in Khartoum and people were chanting "it has fallen, we won", as soldiers raided the headquarters of the Islamic movement led by Bashir in Khartoum.

With the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London coming the same day as reports of Omar Bashir's removal as President of Sudan, it's worth noting the role that cables leaked by WikiLeaks had in exposing the corruption at the heart of Bashir's administration. This time the military handed over power to a civilian government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi after elections in 1986. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The military has taken over national TV and radio and arrested a number of former and current top leaders.

A travel advisory warned citizens in Sudan Wednesday about crime and kidnapping reports, and advised them to prepare evacuation plans "that do not rely on US government assistance".

Canada closed its embassy in the capital, Khartoum, on Thursday and is advising against all travel to the country.

The army's message sparked jubilant scenes among Sudanese convinced that a coup was under way, but it remained unclear what was happening.

Sudan gained independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt in 1956.

In 2005, al-Bashir's government managed to put an end to the Second Sudanese Civil War, which broke out in 1983 between the central government in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Army.

Twenty-two people have died since Saturday - 14 of them on Tuesday - after clashes between Sudanese security forces and demonstrators, according to activists behind the movement.

In recent months, Sudan has seen shortages of fuel and sharp increases on food prices.

The protests that erupted in December have been the biggest challenge to his rule.

Security forces came down hard from the start, using tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and batons.

The Turkish leader has hosted al-Bashir in the past and defended him over accusations of war crimes, saying "a Muslim can not commit genocide".

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