A son of Sudan’s main opposition leader said on Thursday that President Omar al-Bashir was under house arrest along with number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Al Hadath TV reported.
The Dubai-based channel initially attributed the statement to opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, but later clarified it was his son, Al-Sadeeq Sadiq al-Mahdi.
The International Criminal Court has in the past issued two arrest warrants for him, and considers him to be “at large.”
At 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, Bashir was visited by the heads of his four main security apparatuses and was told “there was no alternative” but for him to step down, two senior military sources with direct knowledge of the conversation told CNN.
According to the sources, Bashir responded by saying “with the blessings of God,” an expression of acquiescence in Islamic tradition.
His personal guard has been replaced and is under close watch, according to sources. The Sudanese Prime Minister Mohamed, Taher Ayala, and the head of the ruling National Congress Party, Ahmed Haroun, were among dozens of officials who were also arrested, a top military official with direct knowledge of the arrests told CNN.
CNN’s stringer in Khartoum witnessed military troops storming the Islamic Movement headquarters, the main component of the ruling party.
Thousands marched towards Khartoum’s military headquarters, dancing, banging drums and chanting against the government. Cars honked their horns in support and women ululated in celebration.
“He is a coward and he has fallen!” people were heard chanting amid an extensive military presence on the streets of the capital. The country’s Rapid Security Forces, seen as close to Bashir, were widespread and did not engage with the crowds.
Military troops were seen celebrating with protesters, flashing victory signs. One soldier was seen patting a protester’s back and congratulating him.
Report from Reuters and CNN