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Bashir Dismisses Government, Declares State of Emergency

Bashir Dismisses Government, Declares State of Emergency

Saturday, 23 February, 2019 - 10:00
Sudanese demonstrators run from a teargas canister fired by riot policemen during a protest in January. Photograph: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters
Khartoum - Ahmed Younis
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has declared a national state of emergency for one year and has dismissed the federal government.

Bashir did not say he would step down as the head of the ruling National Congress Party, as it was expected, but did affirm not running for the 2020 polls.

He said he would remain the country’s head of state. But asked parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to run for another term.

"I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year," Bashir said in a televised address to the nation from the presidential palace in Khartoum.

"I announce dissolving the government at the federal level and at the provincial levels," he added.

Despite the decisions, demonstrators vowed to keep up with their rallies, which started three months ago.

In his speech, Bashir also addressed the opposition, saying “I extend a sincere invitation to the opposition forces, who are still outside the path of national reconciliation … to move forward and engage in the dialogue regarding the current issues of our country.”

“Firm economic measures should be taken in a new government”, Bashir said, adding that he would assign that task to a qualified team.

Sudan's opposition Freedom and Change Coalition stressed in a statement the people’s demands are clear and they are not the changes in government but the stepping down of the regime and president.

The statement called on the people to continue with the protests, saying their demands will be attained whether the regime liked it or not.

Sudan has been gripped by nationwide protests since December 19. The demonstrations were triggered by rising prices.

The government has said that 31 people have died in protest-related violence. But the opposition and international organizations have put the toll at 51 people killed.

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