End Of An Era As Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir Steps Down

End Of An Era As Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir Steps Down

Activists behind anti-government protests in Sudan say security forces have killed at least seven people, including a military officer, in another attempt to break up the sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.

"I am now, from the leadership of the Professionals' Association, present at the sit-in and more leaders of the association will appear to the public", he told Reuters by phone.

Early on Tuesday, members of the National Intelligence and Security Service and riot police fired tear gas at the protesters in an abortive bid to end their sit-in, protest movement organisers said.

"The Sudanese authorities must now respond and deliver a credible plan for political transition".

The assistant secretary for U.S. Department's Bureau of African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, tweeted on Monday, "I commend the Sudanese people for their peaceful & resilient expression of their legitimate demands for change".

"People are coming in droves", said an onlooker without revealing his name for security reasons.

Officials say 49 people have died in protest-related violence since demonstrations first erupted in December.

Close-up map of Khartoum locating the protest area near the army headquarters since April 6.

Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan between 1992 to 1996.

It added that it was able to "rein in the unruly elements through good advice or by force within the limits of the law". However, it all escalated and protesters raised the stakes, demanding both the government and long-term ruling president Omar Bashir leave office in what seems to be similar to the Arab Spring uprisings that hit many countries in the Middle East since 2011.

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Army vehicles carrying troops were seen deploying across the centre of Khartoum from early Thursday. According to a Twitter user, by wearing the traditional dress of Sudanese women, she represented the working women of the country.

Once the protesters reached the headquarters and began the sit-in demonstration, soldiers came out to mingle with the crowd, and distributed water and refreshments to protesters who had marched under the scorching sun.

Protesters have set up five big screens at the complex to watch football matches, an onlooker said.

The Defence Ministry is in a compound that also houses Bashir's residence and the NISS headquarters.

"The soldiers at the complex are also angry after the attacks of teargas and are determined to prevent them", another demonstrator told Agence France-Presse.

The SPA said "several members and leaders" of Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF) had given indications they would join the movement.

Meanwhile, former and current Sudanese officials including Bashir's former Vice President Ali Osman Taha and acting head of the National Congress Party Ahmed Haroun were reportedly arrested, as well as Bashir's personal guards.

The citizens have been protesting from December a year ago following the economic crisis and the governments bid to increase the price of bread.

The unrest quickly morphed into a nationwide campaign against Bashir's rule with rallies held across cities, towns and villages.

Protest organizers in Sudan denounced the army's takeover and vowed to continue rallies until a civilian transitional government is formed.

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