The Sudanese Defence Minister, Awad Ibnouf as announced the removal of President Omar al-Bashir from power after 30 years of reign, the army said on state television on Thursday.
“I announce as Minister of Defence the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place,” Ibnouf said.
A transitional military council would replace Bashir for two years, he said, adding that the country’s borders and airspace would be shut until further notice.
The veteran leader, who swept to power in a 1989 coup, was one of Africa’s longest serving presidents. He is wanted on charges of genocide and war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
Since early morning huge crowds of jubilant Sudanese had begun thronging squares across the centre of Khartoum on Thursday as the army promised an “important announcement”.
Chanting “the regime has fallen,” thousands poured into the open ground outside army headquarters where defiant protesters have braved tear gas to keep up an unprecedented sit-in now in its sixth day.
The protests, which erupted in December over the government’s tripling of the price of bread, were the biggest challenge yet to Bashir’s long rule.