Sudan's coup leader steps down day after ousting country's president

  • Video report by ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar

Sudan's defence minister has announced he is stepping down as transitional leader - just a day after ousting the country's autocratic president.

In a TV address, General Awad Ibn Ouf also announced his successor, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, general inspector of the armed forces, as head of the transitional council.

Mr Ibn Ouf said: "I, the head of the military council, announce I am giving up the post," adding he took the decision to preserve the unity of the armed forces.

Sudanese celebrate after officials said the military had forced President Omar al-Bashir to step down on Tuesday. Credit: AP

Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters had been rallying in front of the military headquarters in Khartoum against the military takeover of power after the ousting of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir.

The military, who brought president al-Bashir to power in a coup 30 years ago uprooted the ruler on Thursday and placed him under house arrest.

They rejected calls to hand the ousted president over to the International Criminal Court where he faces genocide charges for his deadly campaign in the western Darfur region, saying he would be put on trial at home.

President Bashir has overseen what the international world described as a "genocide", during his reign in Darfur during the early 2000s, resulting in the leader being indicted in court.

President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashi. Credit: PA

Al-Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup, leading an alliance of the military and Islamist hard-liners.

Since then, the military has stuck by him, even as he was forced to allow the separation of South Sudan and as he became a pariah in many countries.

Despite an international arrest warrant being issued, al-Bashir went on to win elections in 2010 and 2015.

His last win was marred after the main opposition parties boycotted the election.