Amnesty calls for Sudan's Bashir to be handed to ICC

The military stepped in and they earlier on in the day had informed al-Bashir that he was no longer president.

Mr Bashir, who rose to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, had remained defiant in the face of months-long protests that left dozens of demonstrators dead in clashes with security forces.

While the opposition supports al-Bashir's departure, it rejects what it describes as the "replacement of one military coup with another".

NAIROBI, Kenya-After three decades in power, Sudan's President Hassan Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by a military coup amidst widespread protests that started past year.

The military dissolved the regime, parliament and state governments, said Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf.

General Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, set to lead a two-year transitional government, before paving way for an election.

Protesters at the sit-in told Al Jazeera they feel their calls have been heard.

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

Demonstrators called for a civilian government and said they would not accept an administration led by military and security figures, or by Bashir's aides. But al-Bashir successfully presented himself as the leader of a new wave of "political Islam", based on an alliance between Islamists and the military.

Bashir had faced months of protests and calls to step down since late previous year, sparked by an economic crisis.

Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service also released all political prisoners across the country, state news agency SUNA reported.

The military council also said it was declaring a ceasefire across the country, including in war-torn Darfur. The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

Word of al-Bashir's removal emerged in the morning, when state TV announced that the military was about to make an "important statement", and two high-ranking officials told The Associated Press that al-Bashir had been ousted.

The government had announced in December after pressure from the protesters that it would carry out economic reforms to ensure a decent living for the citizens.

There were reports of soldiers shedding their uniforms to join the protests and on February 10 the military said it would respond to the "legitimate" demands of the people and "protect the nation".

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".

The officials declined to elaborate.

The situation in Khartoum remains fluid and it wasn't immediately possible to confirm that al-Bashir is being ousted.

Additional army units and armored vehicles have been deployed throughout the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, with Khartoum, with police having vanished.

The compound has been the scene of a large anti-government sit-in since last Saturday calling for al-Bashir's ouster. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. State TV ceased regular broadcasts, showing only the statement promising the statement and urging the public to "wait for it".

The announcement raised expectations the statement Thursday could address almost four months of anti-government protests demanding that longtime President Omar al-Bashir step down and could be a sign that he is relinquishing power.

Thousands of protestors were staging a sit-in for the sixth night running outside Khartoum army headquarters as the military council´s curfew began at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) despite growing worldwide pressure to hand over to civilian rule.

  • Tracy Klein