The Sudanese military council says it has taken over leadership after the ousting and detention of President Omar Bashir Thursday morning.
In a televised statement read out by the Minister of Defense, Lt.-Gen. Awad Ibn Auf, the army also declared a 3-month state of emergency, starting from today.
The army will be in control of the government for 2 years as it prepares for a general election. During this period, the military will also oversee the review of the constitution.
The ousting of Omar al-Bashir, who had been ruling the Sudan since 1989, comes amid months of protests against him.
The mass protests, which have cost about 20 lives, began last December due to mounting economic crisis over the past year, characterized by acute shortage of foreign currency, rising cost of food items and medicines as well as high inflation that stands at 70%.
He’s also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity.
Who is the interim leader?
Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf was born in 1954. He is a Sudanese general and politician served as the First Vice President of Sudan since February 2019 until earlier today.
Auf previously served as Head of Military Intelligence, and also Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he was relieved in June 2010 as part of a major military shakeup.
Following his military service, he served as the Sudanese Ambassador to Oman.
Auf was on a May 2007 list of individuals sanctioned by the United States due to his alleged role as a liaison between the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed in the Darfur War.
There are credible allegations that Auf coordinated janjaweed operations leading to bombing attacks by Antonov aircraft on civilians, villages attacked, forced displacement, and mass rape (Tawila, North Darfur).
Facing his country’s biggest protests since taking power 30 years ago, Bashir dissolved the central and state governments late February, but left the Defence, Foreign and Justice Ministers in place.
Auf was appointed First Vice President in February 2019, replacing Bakri Hassan Saleh following President Bashir’s dismissal of his cabinet in the wake of mass protests.
Bashir had declared a one-year nationwide state of emergency and replaced all state governors with military officials.
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