Sudan braces for military announcement

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Demonstrators wave their national flag as they attend a protest rally demanding Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Demonstrators wave their national flag as they attend a protest rally demanding Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Sudan’s armed forces will make an “important statement” soon, state television said on Thursday, after months of protests against President Omar Al-Bashir.

The announcement comes as troops were deployed in Khartoum amid speculation that a coup attempt was underway.

“The armed forces will present an important statement shortly. Be ready for it,” the announcement on state television read, without giving further details.

The army and security services deployed troops around the defense ministry and on major roads and bridges in Khartoum as thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the ministry, a Reuters witness said.

Protesters outside the ministry chanted: “It has fallen, we won.”

Al Arabiya TV reported that Bashir had resigned and several officials were arrested, including the defense minister. But there was no confirmation.

State television and radio played patriotic music, reminding older Sudanese of how military takeovers unfolded during previous episodes of civil unrest.

Bashir, a former paratrooper who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1989, has been a divisive figure who has managed his way through one internal crisis after another while withstanding attempts by the West to weaken him.

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