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EOS Alerts 12-4-2019

Sudan: Military Coup Takes Place

On 11 April 2019, military forces arrested Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir in an effective coup, following months of violent anti-government protests. In a national broadcast, Sudanese defence minister, Awad Ibn Ouf, announced that the army will now oversee a two-year transitional period followed by elections. There will be a three-month state of emergency and a one-month curfew (2200 - 0400 LT). The defence minister also announced that all ports of entry and Sudanese airspace would be closed for 24 hours (likely reopening 12 April 2019 at 1400 LT).

The news of the president’s arrest was initially met with celebration, but protesters already on Sudan’s streets are now broadly dissatisfied with the proposed military transition period. Instead, they are demanding that a civilian council leads the transition. Many protesters have vowed to continue taking to the streets in defiance of the curfew and interim military rule. On 11 April, it was reported that protesters attacked the offices of Sudan’s intelligence and security services in Port Sudan and Kassala. That said, most protests are taking place in Khartoum, particularly around the Presidential Palace and Army Headquarters.

It is currently unclear whether the military is united behind the defence minister, or whether further fractionalisation could occur. A security crackdown on protesters by the defence minister will likely prompt even greater street protests, violence and defections from the military. Those who wish to travel in Sudan are advised to be aware that security forces are unable to guarantee the safety of travellers across much of the country. Heightened security measures and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected nationwide, notably in the capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. Avoid all large gathering and observe local curfews. For essential travel, travel in convoy and with an embassy approved security escort. Proceed with extreme caution. Further protests are likely in the coming days and weeks.

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