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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.

State TV and radio interrupted their programming, with TV broadcasting a message that the army would be making a statement.

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.

The witnesses told The Associated Press that military armored vehicles and tanks have been parked in the streets and near bridges over the Nile River as of Thursday morning, as well as in the vicinity of the military headquarters, where thousands are anxiously waiting for the army statement.

Protests against Bashir, who took power in a coup in 1989, have been under way since December.

Thousands of protesters began a sit-in at the military's headquarters in Khartoum on April 6, with police and security forces using force to try and disperse the demonstrators who were calling for al-Bashir to step down.

Demonstrators called for a civilian government and said they would not accept an administration led by military and security figures, or by Mr Bashir's aides.

Amnesty International's secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, said al-Bashir is wanted for "some of the most odious human rights violations of our generation".

Sudan has been shaken by protests since last December, with demonstrators demanding the departure of al-Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since 1989.

Alaa Salah, nicknamed "Kandaka" or "Nubian queen" after she was filmed leading chants against the government, accused the authorities of "hoodwinking" the people.

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The Sudanese army has declared a state of emergency and has implemented a nationwide curfew after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

Rebels from Darfur and the government signed a peace deal in 2010, a year after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Bashir for atrocities committed in the region. "This is the main concern now for most of the Sudanese people, how to meet their minimum needs for the families", said Hajji.

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.

At least 11 people died in the violence, including six members of the armed forces, the information minister has confirmed.

Coups are not a new experience for Sudan, which has experienced five of them since gaining independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt in 1956.

The development followed deadly clashes between Sudanese security forces and protesters holding a large anti-government sit-in outside the military's headquarters Khartoum, which also include a presidential residence. He also said al-Bashir's crackdown against protesters risked splitting the security establishment and "could cause grave casualties".

For months, protesters rallied against rising food prices.

He ultimately faced nearly daily defiance in towns and cities across Sudan despite a crackdown by security forces using teargas and sometimes live ammunition, in which dozens of people have been killed.

All that raised the possibility that what was playing out in Khartoum on Thursday was a military takeover and removal of al-Bashir.


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