Omar al-Bashir deposed: How the world reacted | News

Sudan‘s military has overthrown President Omar al-Bashir after widespread protests against his nearly 30-year rule.

General Awad Ibn Auf, who announced on Thursday the 75-year-old’s toppling and arrest, was sworn in later in the day as the head of a military council that would run the country for two years.

But the move was swiftly rejected as a “regime coup” by the protesters who said the military’s statement did not meet their demands for a civilian-led transitional government.

As protesters defied a military curfew, politicians around the world issued statements about the uncertain situation unfolding in Sudan.

Here is what they had to say.

Egypt

Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement it backed the removal of al-Bashir in neighbouring Sudan and expressed its “full support” for the “choices” of the country’s people.

The ministry also said Egypt had “complete trust” in Sudan’s military to “to overcome this defining phase and its challenges” before calling on the international community to help ensure a peaceful transition of power took place.

Under al-Bashir, Cairo and Khartoum endured tense relations after Sudan supported Ethiopia’s construction of a dam on the river Nile that put at risk Egypt’s water supply.

Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped Sudan could overcome its political upheaval peacefully through “national conciliation” and urged it to “work towards a normal democratic process.”

Speaking at a joint news conference with the president of Burkina Faso on Thursday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Erdogan refrained from voicing support for al-Bashir.

Instead, he said Ankara was committed to the “continuation of deep-rooted ties” with Khartoum.

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The Turkish leader has hosted al-Bashir in the past and defended him over accusations of war crimes, saying, “a Muslim cannot commit genocide.”

The Hague-based International Criminal Court in 2009 indicted al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s western province of Darfur.

United Kingdom

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said two years of military rule was “not the answer” for “real change” in Sudan.

“We need to see a swift move to an inclusive, representative, civilian leadership. And we need to ensure there’s no more violence,” Hunt said in a Twitter post.

Dozens of people have been killed since anti-Bashir demonstrations erupted in December, including children, medics and soldiers, some of whom were attempting to protect protesters from a crackdown carried out by security forces loyal to the now-deposed Sudanese leader.

United States

The United States called for Sudan’s army to incorporate civilians into the country’s transitional government following the removal of al-Bashir, arguing two years of military rule was too long.

Washington also urged “transitional authorities to exercise restraint”, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters at a press conference.    

“The Sudanese people should determine who leads them and their future and the Sudanese people have been clear and are demanding a civilian-led transition.”

Palladino said that Washington would continue to “call for those responsible for the horrific crimes that were committed in Darfur to be held accountable for those actions”, without specifying whether al-Bashir or Ibn Auf should be extradited.

Ibn Auf was head of military intelligence and security during the bloody conflict in the Darfur region, which began in 2003.

African Union

The African Union criticised the installation of the military council and called for calm and restraint in the country.

“The military takeover is not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the 55-member pan-African body’s commission, said in a statement.

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Mahamat also pledged the AU’s “commitment and readiness to support Sudan” during the country’s political upheaval.

European Union

The 28-member European Union also said Sudan’s military council would “not provide the answers” to the country’s political crisis.

“Only a credible and inclusive political process can meet the aspirations of the Sudanese people and lead to the political and economic reforms the country needs,” Federica Mogherini, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, said in a statement.

“That can only be achieved through a swift handover to a civilian transitional government. In that process, all must exercise calm and utmost restraint,” Mogherini added.

United Nations

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres called for an inclusive transition process in Sudan that will meet the “democratic aspirations” of the country’s people, his spokesman said.

The UN secretary-general also urged for all parties in Sudan to exercise “calm and restraint”, Stephane Dujarric, the UN’s spokesman, added.

The US and five European nations on the Security Council, meanwhile, called for a meeting of the top UN body over al-Bashir’s removal from office.

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