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Sudan: President Bashir set to step down.

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Source: Reuters

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was forced to step down by the military on Thursday after three decades of autocratic power, and moves were under way to form a transitional council to run the country, Sudanese sources said.

Government sources and the minister of production and economic resources in North Darfur, Adel Mahjoub Hussein, told Dubai-based al-Hadath TV that Bashir had stepped down and consultations were taking place to form a ruling military council.

Sudanese sources told Reuters Bashir, 75, was deposed by the army and was at the presidential residence under “heavy guard”

The military will make an announcement soon, state television said as troops deployed around the defense ministry and on major roads and bridges in the capital.

Soldiers stormed the headquarters of Bashir’s Islamic Movement, the main component of the ruling National Congress Party, a Reuters witness said.

Thousands of people flocked to an anti-government protest outside the defense ministry, while huge crowds took to the streets in central Khartoum, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans.

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

One protester, speaking to Arabiya TV, said reports were circulating that Bashir’s deputy and Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf would replace him, but this was unacceptable to the demonstrators.

“We expect good news, joyful news that we have awaited for 30 years,” demonstrator Nadine Ala al-Din said.

Mohamed Adam, 44, said: “We will not accept Bashir’s aides as part of the new situation. Those people have killed protesters.”

Sudanese demonstrators wave their national flag as they arrive for a protest rally demanding Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down outside the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Kamal Omar, a 38-year-old doctor, said a military government would not be acceptable. “We will continue our sit-in until we prevail”.

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

The demonstrators at the Defence Ministry had said that they wanted to submit a petition for the armed forces to take their side in their attempt to remove Bashir and his Islamist-backed administration.

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Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead

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All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.

Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.

But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.

In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.

At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government

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After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.

Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival,  Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.

Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.

Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.

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