1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Sudan's army ousts President Omar al-Bashir

April 11, 2019

Amid growing public pressure, Sudan's military has carried out a coup against President al-Bashir. But protest organizers have accused the army of usurping power, saying civilians must lead the transitional government.

A soldier walks amid protesters in Khartoum, Sudan
Image: pictur- alliance

The Sudanese military on Thursday removed President Omar al-Bashir in a coup following months of popular protests against his three decades of iron-fisted rule.

Since mid-December, protesters have railed against a tripling of bread prices and an economic crisis that has led to a shortage of basic goods.

The latest: 

  • The military dissolved the regime, parliament and state governments, said Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf.
  • The Defense Ministry established a military council to lead a transitional government for two years until elections can be held.
  • The military took control of state radio and television stations.
  • A state of emergency was imposed for at least three months and the country's ports, borders and airports were temporarily closed.

Read more: 'The media is under siege in Sudan'

Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf
Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf will head the transitional military councilImage: picture-alliance/Xinhua/M. Khidir

Divisive 'coup'

Defense Minister Ibn Auf, who is under US sanctions for supporting genocidal militias in Darfur, said: "I announce as minister of defense the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place."

However, protest organizers rejected the "coup conducted by the regime," saying: "We call on our people to continue their sit-in in front of army headquarters and across all regions and in the streets."

Sara Abdelgali, spokesperson for the opposition SPA, told DW: "We reject this roadmap and we consider this a coup and a recycling of the same regime members."

Egypt, which is ruled by a strongman who orchestrated a coup against the country's first democratically elected president, said it supports its neighbor's military and the "Sudanese people's choice and will."

Read more: Sudan Islamic clerics attack DW show 'Shabab Talk'

Omar al-Bashir
It is unclear what fate awaits President Omar al-Bashir following his arrestImage: Reuters/M.N. Abdallah

New 'Arab Spring'?

For months, protesters rallied against rising food prices. But the protest movement quickly morphed into a sustained challenge against al-Bashir's rule.

The protests have intensified since April 6 as thousands of demonstrators joined a sit-in outside army headquarters in Khartoum, which also houses al-Bashir's residence, calling for the president to step down.

Read more: Anger over dictatorship, not bread, fueling Sudan uprising

The protests against al-Bashir gained a boost last week after Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in response to weeks of similar protests against his nearly 20-year rule.

Despite the immediate jubilation around al-Bashir's downfall, the military intervention risks replacing one dictatorship with another, dashing protesters' hopes for a civilian government and opening the way for instability.

Read more:Radio crosses borders in war-torn region 

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

Map showing Sudanese capital Khartoum
Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

A Moscow apartment bulding that was destroyed by drone attacks
Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage