Sudan army declares state of emergency after ousting Bashir

Sudan President Bashir STEPS DOWN as tens of thousands march in protests against regime

Gen. Awad Mohammed Ibn Auf, the vice-president and defence minister who was appointed by Bashir before announcing the president's removal on state TV, is "very much a symbol of the regime", said Ahmed Soliman, a research fellow at the United Kingdom -based think-tank Chatham House.

The army has slapped a night-time curfew on the country that started at 10PM.

Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, tells The Associated Press they will not back a military coup and insist on an "unconditional stepping down of al-Bashir and his regime". Also, Islamic judges were sent to the country's mainly animist, Christian south, fueling the civil war that was already going on for years.

The UN chief voiced his "expectation that the democratic aspiration of the Sudanese people will be realised through an appropriate and inclusive transition process", said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The U.S. Department of State told U.S. citizens in Sudan to shelter in place Thursday morning as demonstrations and growing unrest gripped the country following a military takeover and arrest of the president.

The army's ouster of al-Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 coup, ends the reign of one of Africa's longest-serving rulers.

The latest protests were called to mark the 34th anniversary of the toppling of former President Jaafar Muhammad Nimeiry's government by the Sudan Armed Forces in response to a popular uprising in Sudan as well as to protest against the current government.

"Change will not happen with Bashir's entire regime hoodwinking Sudanese civilians through a military coup", tweeted Alaa Salah, who has become an icon of the protest movement after a video of her leading demonstrators' chants went viral. "We urge the revolutionaries not to leave the sit-in", the SPA said on Thursday as celebrations erupted in the streets.

Some demonstrators, who have rallied against Bashir since December 19, said they feared the delay would allow him to go into exile.

"We will not stop our revolution".

Mr Adawi is said to be favoured by regional neighbours at odds with Mr al-Bashir over his Islamist leanings.

It suspended the constitution and appointed a caretaker cabinet until elections in June 2012 made Islamist Mohamed Morsi Egypt's first civilian democratically elected president.

But the festive mood later soured. "We are not leaving".

The UN Security Council is to discuss the situation in a closed-door meeting on Friday called by the US, France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Poland, diplomats said.

Some in the protest movement have seen that as a willingness in the military to drop al-Bashir.

Additional army units and armored vehicles have been deployed throughout the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, with Khartoum, with police having vanished. And martial music was played on state television as soldiers ordered the TV to halt its normal programming. Security forces tried repeatedly to break up the sit-in since Saturday, in violence that killed at least 22 people.

Despite the immediate jubilation around al-Bashir's downfall, the military intervention risks replacing one dictatorship with another, dashing protesters' hopes for a civilian government and opening the way for instability.

Over his three decades in control, he was forced to allow the secession of South Sudan after years of war, a huge blow to the north's economy.

"The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has announced it is releasing all political detainees across the country", the official Suna news agency said.

Protesters approached the NISS building in Kasala demanding that officers free their prisoners, a witness told AFP by telephone from the city.

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