Sudan’s dictator, Omar al-Bashir, is forced out of power

THE CRY rippled through the crowd in the early hours of April 11th, accompanied by the beating of drums and blasts on whistles: “It has fallen. We have won.”

And, so it appears, they have. Almost exactly 30 years after Omar al-Bashir seized power in a bloodless coup, shunting aside his democratically elected predecessor, the man who did so much to wreck Sudan has himself been toppled. His fall marks the culmination of four months of almost ceaseless protests against one of Africa’s longest-ruling tyrants. “In spite of all hurdles and hardships, it is over,” said Ahmed Elyas, an engineer in Khartoum who was in the crowd. “We won.”

As The Economist went to press tens of thousands of demonstrators—encamped outside the main army compound in central Khartoum since April 6th—waited on an announcement from the generals as the army moved troops onto the streets and state radio and television played patriotic music. Yet even amid the jubilation it was unclear whether this was a coup that would lead to another military strongman stepping in, or a revolution that would put civilians in charge.

Initial reports were contradictory. Some suggested that the army was trying to form an interim administration led by Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, the defence minister, who has had sanctions placed on him by America for...

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