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Al-Bashir declares state of emergency, dissolves Sudan government

Omer al-Bashir declares the state of emergency on 22 February 2019 (SUNA photo)
February 22, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Friday night declared a one-year state of emergency, ordered the parliament to postpone a constitutional reform to allow him to run for another term, and decided to dismiss the national government and the dissolution of state governments.

The announced decisions come as recognition by President al-Bashir of the amplitude of the two-month political crisis in Sudan and brutal repression of protests where over 30 people have been killed according to the government.

Previously, al-Bashir rejected any dialogue with the opposition and called on the political forces to take part in the general elections in 2020 as he was preparing to run for a new mandate.

"In order to arrange the national political scene to achieve (a national) consensus, I declare the state of emergency throughout the country for a year, the dissolution of the government of national consensus, the solution of state governments."

He pointed out that the document of national dialogue will be the basis for a dialogue with the political forces at home and abroad.

"I call on Parliament to postpone considering the constitutional amendments in order to (create a conducive environment ) for constructive dialogue and national initiatives," he stressed.

Salah Gosh, the head of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) told a limited number of journalists few hours before the al-Bashir speech that the latter would abandon the chairmanship of the National Congress Party and continue as President of the Republic so that the party can nominate another candidate for the 2020 elections.

In his statements al-Bashir did not speak about his situation in the party, raising fears that he has no intention to abandon power.

However, he pledged to dedicate his efforts as a President of the Republic to oversee the process of dialogue.

"I will be at the same distance from everyone: loyalists and opponents Using justice, transparency and broad-mindedness," he emphasized.

The Sudanese president’s speech was marked by a conciliatory language towards his opponents and paid tribute to those who killed in the nationwide protests.

He said it was not unacceptable to see people calling for improving the general situation and to address the poor government’s performance.

"But what was unacceptable and troubling is that some people try to jump in the front line of the protests and exploit it to achieve an agenda that adopts zero options leading the country to an unknown fate," he said.

He called on the political forces to consider the demands of young people and to involve them in national construction.

Also, he called to consider the role of the armed forces as a guarantor of stability.

Before to announce these decisions, the Sudanese president held intensive meetings with the Higher Coordination Committee for Dialogue, which includes his allies in the government.

He also met with the leadership office of the National Congress, while the Foreign Ministry informed the diplomatic missions about these developments.

(ST)