Sudan army warns it will enforce night-time curfew as protesters remain defiant

Sudan army warns it will enforce night-time curfew as protesters remain defiant
Sudan's army warned it would enforce a night-time curfew, state media reported, as protesters vowed to continue demonstrating.

3 min read
11 April, 2019
The military's warning was issued on state media [AFP]

A night time curfew in Sudan would be enforced by the military, state media reported, as protesters vowed to continue demonstrating against a military council set up after the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir.

The curfew runs "from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am, and all must adhere to it for their own safety," the army said in a statement carried by the official SUNA news agency, adding that it was "doing its duty to keep them and their properties secure".

The announcement came after Sudan's Defence Minister Awad Ibnouf earlier announced that Bashir had been detained and that a transitional military council will replace him for a period of two years, prompting protesters to remain defiant on the streets of Khartoum.

Jubilation at the fall of Bashir quickly soured in the capital when protesters realised the old regime had no plans to go.

"This is a farce. The regime did not fall. This is a reproduction of the same regime," one demonstrator told AFP, gesturing emphatically.

"This man (Bashir) is a bloodthirsty leader and he is wanted, he brings us another regime. This is completely unacceptable," added another.

As activists began telling protesters not to leave the site despite the curfew, one woman in a bright red headscarf also dismissed Thursday's events.

"Ibnouf and Bashir are two sides of the same coin," she told AFP. "As youth and citizens we see what's happening, the government is manipulating us.”

Thousands of people had flooded the centre of the capital Khartoum from early morning, cheering, waving flags and even kissing and hugging soldiers as they danced on armoured vehicles.

But after the army's announcement the celebrations evaporated, and the tone hardened.

"We are not leaving, we are not leaving. Just fall and that's all," some protesters in front of the army headquarters began chanting.

Earlier, the UN chief called for a transition in Sudan that meets the "democratic aspiration" of the Sudanese people on Thursday, just hours after Bashir was ousted by the army.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for "calm and utmost restraint by all," his spokesman said.

The UN chief voiced his "expectation that the democratic aspiration of the Sudanese people will be realised through an appropriate and inclusive transition process," said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Bashir, who swept to power in a 1989 coup, was one of Africa's longest-serving presidents. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and war crimes.

The UN Security Council was expected to meet behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the dramatic developments in Sudan, which has been an important regional player in peace efforts in the region.

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