On Saturday, April 13, the new leader of Sudan's Military Transitional Council (MTC), Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced the cancelation of a month-long nightly curfew from 22:00 to 04:00 (local time) implemented by former MTC head Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf. General Burhan also directed the release of political prisoners detained under emergency laws implemented by sacked President Omar al-Bashir and vowed to hand over power to a civilian government to be formed within two years. The moves come as political protests continued outside army headquarters in Khartoum on Friday night, April 12, in defiance of the curfew. Protesters, many of whom are led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, have vowed to continue demonstrating until a civilian-led transitional government is formed.
A three-month state of emergency remains in place and Sudanese border crossings have been closed until further notice. The US State Department issued a notice on Thursday, April 11, calling for all non-emergency government employees to evacuate from Sudan as a precaution. US diplomatic authorities have also warned US citizens to refrain from all travel to the country until further notice. Other Western governments are advising their citizens to avoid all but essential travel to Sudan as of April 13.
Additional political demonstrations, heightened security measures, and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected nationwide, notably in Khartoum, Khartoum North, and Omdurman, over the coming hours and days. Related clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out over the near term.
President Omar al-Bashir was removed from office on April 11 following a military coup led by Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf. Following the formation of the Supreme Security Committee, Ibn Auf announced that the military had dissolved the government, suspended the constitution, and would rule the country for two years in a transitional government, after which time fresh presidential elections would be held.
Anti-government protests began on December 19, 2018, as hundreds of protesters gathered in major urban centers. Protesters initially demanded increased government transparency and economic reforms but broadened their scope to demand the resignation of President Bashir, who was in power since 1989.
Individuals in Sudan, particularly those in Khartoum, are advised to closely monitor the situation, refrain from all nonessential travel, remain vigilant of their surroundings and be aware of possible spontaneous protest activities, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and avoid all public gatherings and common demonstration sites due to the risk of violence and arrest.
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