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Sudan's Bashir steps down as head of ruling party, to stay on as president

Ahram Online , Reuters , Friday 22 Feb 2019
Omar al-Bashir
File Photo: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (AP)
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Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir will address the nation on Friday evening, shortly after reports of major changes in the upper echelons of the country had emerged.

Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya channel said that Al-Bashir will restructure the government and the ruling party and declare a state of emergency.

Al-Bashir has decided to give up his post as the head of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) but will remain Sudan's president, with renewed promises to combat corruption, the head of security and intelligence told Al-Arabiya.

He also announced that he will not run in the coming presidential elections, scheduled for 2020.

Security forces fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters who marched and chanted anti-government slogans following Friday prayers at a major mosque near the Sudanese capital, eyewitnesses said.

The demonstration in the city of Omdurman outside Al-Sayed Abd Al-Rahman Al-Mahdi mosque, which has ties to the opposition Umma party, was the latest in what have become near-daily protests in Sudan since 19 December.

Security forces have used teargas and live bullets to disperse protesters, and have arrested people including opposition party members, activists and journalists.

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