U.S. Citizens in Sudan Told to Shelter in Place Amid Unrest After Army Arrests President, Closes Borders

Sudanese soldiers stand guard on armoured military vehicles as demonstrators continue their protest against the regime near the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on April 11, 2019.(Credit: -/AFP/Getty Images)

Sudanese soldiers stand guard on armoured military vehicles as demonstrators continue their protest against the regime near the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on April 11, 2019.(Credit: -/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of State told U.S. citizens in Sudan to shelter in place Thursday morning as demonstrations and growing unrest gripped the country following a military takeover and arrest of the president.

“Avoid the areas of the demonstrations, be aware of your surroundings, avoid crowds, keep a low profile, monitor local media for updates and notify friends and family of your safety,” the department said on Twitter.

Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Ouf appeared on state TV in military fatigues and announced that the military has removed and arrested President Omar al-Bashir.

He also announced that the military has suspended the constitution, dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency for three months, closed the country’s borders and airspace and imposed a night curfew for one month.

The defense minister announced military rule for two years, imposing an emergency clampdown that risks enflaming protesters who have demanded civilian democratic change.

The State Department said the airport in Khartoum will be closing and that the the consular section at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum was also closed Thursday.

“The Embassy is aware of reports of a military takeover of the Government,” the State Department said.

A travel advisory warned citizens in Sudan Wednesday about crime and kidnapping reports, and advised them to prepare evacuation plans “that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.”

Escalating protests against al-Bashir’s 30-year rule started in December and resulted in the killing of dozens.

No U.S. citizens have been reported injured.

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