‘Mounting anticipation that Bashir’s rule is ending’

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People from all walks of life have been pushing for the president's removal from power
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There is a sense of mounting anticipation in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. An announcement by the army is now expected raising anticipation that President Bashir’s 30 years in power are coming to an end.

Tens of thousands of people have been maintaining a protest vigil outside military headquarters since Saturday, demanding the removal of the president.

On two successive nights they were attacked by intelligence and militia forces loyal to him – and on both occasions the army stepped in to protect them.

This was an early sign of fracturing in a previously steadfast security establishment.

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Protests against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who has governed Sudan since 1989, have been under way since December.

They were originally sparked by a rise in the cost of living, but demonstrators are now calling for the president to resign and his government to go.

Representatives of the protesters say they are seeking talks with the army regarding the formation of a transitional government.

Omar el-Digeir, a senior protest member, told AFP news agency last week that the group was seeking a path “that represents the wish of the revolution”.

Police have ordered officers not to intervene against the protests.

On Tuesday, a police spokesman called for “an agreement which would support the peaceful transition of power” in Sudan.

The government has been criticised by rights groups for a heavy-handed response to the unrest.

Government officials admit 38 people have died since the unrest began in December, but the pressure group Human Rights Watch says the number is higher.

In February, it looked as though the president might step down, but instead Mr Bashir declared a state of national emergency.

Now, his fate is unclear, with state media reporting that the army is to make an “important” announcement soon.

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