February 2011 - Posts
Cairo, Feb. 26 (SUNA)-The Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Saturday received a written message from President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir
Tantawi received the Minister of Defence, Gen. Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein and the State Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kamal Hassan Ali, who are on an official visit to Cairo
The Message dealt with boosting relations linking the Sudan and Egypt besides the support of the Sudanese people to their Egyptian brothers in this crucial historical juncture
Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence expressed, during the bilateral talks he held in Egypt, his hope to boost relations with the Egyptian brothers in all domains besides building of a joint future to realize the common interests of the two countries.
Khartoum, Feb. 26 (SUNA)- President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, was acquainted with the progress of work at the new Khartoum International Airport, during his meeting with the Director of the unit for implementation of Khartoum New Airport, Abdul-Karim Abdulla, stressing the importance of completing the construction of the airport on scheduled time
Abdulla explained in a statement to (SUNA) that the new airport of Khartoum is set to be constructed within 36 months if the funding institutions of the project met their commitments
He referred in this regard to the agreement signed with the Islamic Bank to fund the project with 150 million US dollars, in addition to other 200 million dollars from the Exports Bank of Turkey
He added that numbers of Arab Funds are committed to fund the construction of the aviation operations of the new airport
Abdulla explained that the new airport project is one of the huge projects of which total value reaches some 2 billion US dollars, expecting it to make a quality shift in the region due to the strategic location of Sudan
SUNA recalls that President Al-Bashir issued a Republican Decree in 2005 establishing a Special Unit to follow up the implementation of Khartoum New Airport, under the chairmanship of Abdul-Karim Abdulla
The total area of the project extends along 94km while the internal space of the airport covers some 22 km
February 18, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — The Washington-based Enough Project called on the US Administration to launch of a post Doha "proactive mediation style" to end the eight year conflict in Darfur saying any effort to domesticate the conflict will be unproductive.
- A child looks inside a shelter at Sakale Wali IDPs camp in the South Darfur town of Nyala May 29, 2010. (Reuters)
"The Obama Administration can build on its success helping to achieve a credible and timely southern referendum by partnering with the United Nations and key Security Council member states at the highest level to reinvigorate the Darfur peace process," said the group in a 15-page roadmap released on 15 February.
In the proposed peace plan, Enough called to organize "High-level political negotiations outside of Sudan between the various parties to the conflict," including the government of Sudan, four rebel groups and the civil society.
Sudanese government is pressing the mediation in Doha to conclude the peace talks with the rebel groups to start an internal process to end the conflict aiming to involve civil society, and tribal leaders besides elected executive and legislative organs.
Khartoum said it would not accept any new international initiative to organize talks between the rebels and the government pointing out that any group can ink the agreement that it intends to sign with armed groups participating in the Doha process.
The group said a proactive process "defined by direct contact between the parties with the mediators present" should be hosted outside Sudan because the current security situation and the implementation of emergency law in the region, among others, do not provide suitable atmosphere to hold an internal peace process.
The road map also says that the current head of the AU High Level Panel Thabo Mbeki and the UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari should focus their efforts respectively on post South Sudan referendum and Darfur peacekeeping issues.
Efforts led by the Joint chief Mediator Dijibril Bassole suffered from the lack of visible international support and the competing efforts of other regional and international figures who allowed the Sudanese government a margin of movement and put pressure on the mediation.
The former US envoy to Sudan Scott Gration despite his formal support to the Doha process dedicated his time to the CPA implementation and backed also Khartoum’s plans to bring the peace process inside the country. Also his efforts in Darfur were hindered by his tumultuous relationship with rebel groups.
The proposed peace plan stresses on the need to bring to the negotiating table the Justice and equality Movement (JEM), Liberation and Equality Movement (LJM) and the two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur and Minni Minnawi.
The US government has a special role to play to get all the rebel groups into the peace negotiations, the road map underlines.
"The United States should develop options such as the possibility of targeted sanctions that could help bring intransigent but necessary rebel representatives to the table," Enough further said.
Also civil society participation and coordination with the governments that have relations with Darfur armed groups are seen as key to bring the rebels to the comprehensive process. The road map cites the relations of the rebels with the South Sudan which can play a role to deliver rebels to the peace talks.
Speaking about Khartoum government the proposed plan says The US can continue its commitment to normalize gradually bilateral relations with Sudan and remove sanctions after the resolution of Darfur conflict.
"The United States should continue to adhere to the roadmap laid out by the administration in late 2010, which ties increased normalization of relations between the U.S. and North Sudan specifically to conditions in Darfur."
The Sudanese government and former South African president Mbeki intend to initiate two processes aiming to promote peace in Darfur from inside the Sudan. The government says the resettlement of the IDPs and refugees and development are also part of its project. While the head of the African panel stresses on the dialogue between the tribal and civil society groups.
The two processes, which converge at certain level, are separate from the engagement of civil society organizations and tribal leaders as it is designed by the mediation in Doha where the civil groups are part of an inclusive process and not opposed to the rebels.
Khartoum and Mbeki agree that the main cause of conflict in Darfur is tribal attacks for the control of water sources and pastures. They say addressing this issue implies to erect civil society groups as main actors to negotiate among them an end to the conflict.
The peace plan proposed by Enough group says civil society participation should be initiated and monitored by the international mediation. "The process should be focused on the kind of reconciliation that has been initiated in Darfur in recent months by Bassolé’s mediation team," it stresses.
The group further urges to "promote an enabling environment" for successful civil society consultations. In this regard, the road map points out the need to "repeal of the state of emergency law and the national security law in order to create a conducive environment for free and fair consultations.
It also considers crucial "that no civilians will be punished as result of their participation. Should any such backlash occur, the U.S. would need to vehemently condemn whichever party was responsible, and demonstrate clear consequences for this behavior".
The plan was referring to Kalma clashes between the partisans of Doha talks and those who are opposed to the participation of IDPs in the civil society consultation held in Doha in July 2010.
The state minister Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud in statements told a Qatari daily on Friday that the mediation will release a timetable for the talks between the government and the rebel groups present in Doha, JEM and LJM..
On the talks with the LJM the mediation will submit new proposal on the pending issues particularly the status of the region and the attribution of a post of vice-president of the republic to Darfur region. With regard to the negotiations with JEM the mediators will organize talks on the basis of the peace document. However in the second situation the parties might be forced to extend the talks beyond the end of the month.
Sudanese government said it plans to conclude the talks before the end of July in order to adopt a new constitution for the country with the separation of South Sudan.
February 18, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The call by the presidential adviser for security affairs Salah Gosh for a national dialogue between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and opposition parties has received a cool reception amidst growing political tension in the country ahead of the South’s official breakup in July.
- Salah Gosh, ex-chief of security now advisor to Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (AFP)
On Wednesday, Gosh proposed a national dialogue round table that starts next month and lasts until June for the purpose of agreeing on a political and legal environment for post-secession Sudan. This would be hosted by the National Security Consultancy headed by Gosh.
The Sudanese official said that the conference secretariat would be comprised of representatives from opposition parties, representatives from universities and think-tanks besides other independent national figures. The outcome of the forum would then be forwarded on to presidency for consideration in the restructuring of the state.
The agenda of the talks would include constitution, governance, federalism, presidential system, human rights, freedoms, economy, society, culture and external relations.
Abul Hassan Farah, communications director in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), ruled out any participation in the dialogue saying that it amounts to nothing but "air exercise". He revealed that his party submitted its own proposal to the NCP on national consensus but received no response.
Farah said that the proposed conference has no goals and lacks any mechanisms for implementation. He warned that any DUP member taking part in it will only represent himself and not the party.
The assistant for the secretary general of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Ibrahim Al-Sanoosi said that they will not waste their time in initiatives that are not serious and will drag on.
"We are all for revolution and uprooting the regime. We will not carry out dialogue with anyone," Al-Sanoosi added.
Yousif Sideeg, a leading figure in the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), said that they have already conveyed their written decision on their refusal to join the dialogue.
"We will not conduct dialogue with the security," Sideeg said.
Officials from the National Umma Party (NUP) could not be reached for comments.
Last month, Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir offered opposition to join the government ranks after the South breaks away. However, the proposal fell short of demands by Northern parties, which want the NCP to relinquish power and hold fair and free elections that would be held after crafting a new constitution that enjoys broad support.
Yesterday, Bashir toughened his stance saying that the new cabinet will be open only to those who accept the NCP agenda. He said if that is not acceptable to opposition if they try and mobilize people to take to the streets "if they have any supporters".
The NCP is under pressure to relax its grip on power particularly after two successful revolts that brought down regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Moreover, several small demonstrations took place last month by Sudanese youths across the country who coordinated through social networking websites such as Facebook.
However, Sudanese police dealt swiftly with the protests and detained dozens of protestors most of whom were only released yesterday.
Sudanese officials downplayed any potential for unrest in the country saying the people enjoy far more freedom than citizens in Egypt and Tunisia.
The NUP leader is currently in talks with the NCP that were initiated last month during a meeting between Bashir and Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
Opposition parties slammed Al-Mahdi saying that he has breached their joint position that rejects bilateral talks and insists that the NCP implements some steps including release of all political detainees such as PCP leader Hassan Al-Turabi who was arrested last month without charge.
Today, the PCP reiterated this position saying that the NUP has disrupted the cohesion of opposition parties and their bases that wants regime change similar to other countries in the region.
February 17, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir issued a warning to opposition parties not to cause insecurity and sabotage, striking a more defiant tone compared to his remarks in recent weeks.
- Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir waves to the crowd during a rally in Kararey locality at Omdurman February 16, 2011 (Reuters)
Addressing uniformed army officers, Bashir also dared the opposition parties to mobilize people and take the streets and stage protests against his rule "if they have any supporters".
He stressed that the National Congress Party (NCP) he chairs rejects opposition demands for an interim government that would prepare the country for new elections.
While affirming his commitment to freedoms, Bashir said he will not allow for chaos and that there would not be any government change in the manner demanded by the opposition unless the latter manages to gather street support which he suggested is unlikely.
Sudan held presidential and parliamentary elections last year that gave the NCP a comfortable win in Northern constituencies while keeping the presidential post.
South Sudan will officially secede next July giving the NCP absolute majority in the parliament after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) is no longer part of the national unity government.
Bashir has offered opposition to join the government ranks after the South breaks away.
However, the proposal fell short of demands by Northern parties which want the NCP to relinquish power and run again in fair and free elections that would be held after crafting a new constitution that enjoys broad support.
Despite that, Bashir’s party is in talks with several opposition parties on joining the upcoming government.
The NCP is under pressure to relax its grip on power particularly after two successful revolts managed to bring down regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Moreover, several small demonstrations took place last month by Sudanese youths across the country who mobilized through social networking websites such as Facebook.
However, Sudanese police dealt swiftly with the protests and detained dozens of protesters most of whom were only released today.
Sudanese officials downplayed any potential for unrest in the country saying the people enjoy far more freedom than citizens in Egypt and Tunisia.
But the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi dismissed NCP’s labeling of opposition as "weak" saying that they are exercising maximum restraint to avoid escalation that would lead to violence and balkanization of the country.
He called on the NCP to "get off their high horse" and change its mentality that relies on excluding dissenting voices.
Khartoum, Feb. 17 (SUNA) - President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, has affirmed government keenness to expand the participation base
He disclosed, during a meeting with the students at Martyr Al-Zubair Center Wednesday, that consultations are underway with national personalities to establish a commission for combating corruption, stressing the government keenness to find economic alternatives for oil
President Al-Bashir reiterated Sudan adherence to the Islamic Sharia, asserting the government keenness to solve Darfur issue and to enhance the ties with the neighboring countries
He called for community purification,support to the lofty values and paving of the way before the youth and students to lead the community development
Al-Dabba, Feb. 13 (SUNA) - President of the Republic and General Commander of the Armed Force, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, Sunday inaugurated the premises of the 73rd Brigade in Al-Dabba, accompanied by the Minister of National Defence, Gen. Abdul-Rahim Mohamed Hussein
Meanwhile, the Commander of the 19th Brigade Infantry, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Rahman Mohamed Abdul-Hamid, said that the 73rd Brigade represented a strong boost to the Armed Forces which is protecting Sudan from foreign plots
Sana'a, Feb. 13 (SUNA) - The Yemeni President, Ali Abdalla Salih, has reiterated his country solidarity and stance alongside the people of Sudan
This came when he received President Al-Bashir's envoy and the Minister of Guidance and Endowments Dr. Azhari Al-Tagani, who conveyed to him a written message from Al-Bashir on the fraternal relations and the fields of the joint cooperation between the two sister countries and ways of boosting them further. The message also tackled developments of Arab situations,top of them is the situation in Sudan in the light of the referendum results
President Al-Bashir has praised, in the message, the stances of the Republic of Yemen in supporting the security and stability of Sudan, at the head of which stance of President Salih during the Arab extraordinary summit which was recently held in Serte, Libya
President Salih asked Dr. Al-Tigani to convey his greetings to President Al-Bashir and the Sudanse people
February 12, 2011 (KHARTOUM) –The National Congress Party (NCP) in the North and Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South are to decide on the future of the UN peacekeeping force that was established to monitor the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
The SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum told reporters after a meeting of the political bureau that the future of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was discussed among other post-referendum arrangements that are still pending a disposition with the NCP.
On the other hand, Sudan’s foreign minister Ali Karti affirmed the NCP’s decision that UNMIS’s mandate will be terminated by the end of the interim period on July 9th.
Karti said that the services of UNMIS would not be needed should there be friendly ties between the North and South.
UNMIS was established in 2005 to ensure that northern and southern Sudan comply with the peace agreement they signed in the same year that ended two decades of civil war.
The South Sudan referendum, which is the final phase of the CPA, was held peacefully last month and resulted in an overwhelming vote in favor of independence.
However, issues such as the dispute over the oil-rich border region of Abyei and the lack of progress on North-South border demarcation are raising fears of possible military confrontation after July 9th.
The nearly 10,500-strong peacekeeping force intensified its patrols in Abyei after clashes between Arab Misseriya nomadic cattle-herders linked to the North and the Dinka ethnic group linked to the South.
Furthermore, clashes erupted recently between the SPLA in the South and the forces of general George Athor who has mutinied last year following his failure to win elections in Jonglei.
The UNMIS chief Haile Menkerios said following a briefing to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that the South indicated it would welcome UN engagement to consolidate peace and capacity building of for the new state.
February 12, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail said today that the "chaos" that hit governments in the region were a result of their loyally to the West namely U.S. and Israel.
- Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail (AFP)
Ismail was quoted by pro-government Sudanese Media Center (SMC) website as saying that Sudan respects the will of the Egyptian people and wishes for Egypt’s stability and to resume its leading role in the Arab and Islamic world.
Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule over the most populous Arab state was brought to a tumultuous end Friday after weeks of protests across Egypt. His departure followed the flight of Tunisia’s long-time leader Zain al-Abidine Ben Ali to Saudi Arabia.
Mubarak has been a strong backer of the Sudanese government and president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir particularly in the face of the arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The deposed ruler had pressed Arab Gulf states and the U.S. to recognize the 1989 coup led by Bashir which he saw as more friendly regime than that of the one led by Sudanese prime minister Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi who came to power through democratic elections in 1986 before being toppled.
Ismail said that Sudan does not fear the occurrence of Tunisian and Egyptian revolts in the country saying that Khartoum is ruled by God’s Islamic laws and thus they does not fear the arrogance of the West that seeks to tear the Arabic-Islamic fiber.
Ironically, the Sudanese presidential adviser was one of the first officials who acknowledged the deep counter-terrorism cooperation with the U.S. in 2005.
Ismail speaking to Los Angeles Times in 2005, said that his government “served as the eyes and ears of the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] in Somalia”.
The then Sudan spy chief Salah Gosh in 2007 said that cooperation with the CIA spared them "destructive backlash" by the U.S. following the 9/11 attacks
February 12, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The former Sudanese Prime Minister and leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi has vehemently dismissed reports that he intends to join the government dominated by the National Congress Party (NCP).
- National Umma Party chief Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi (AFP)
President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who is the NCP’s chairman announced that following the south’s secession he will form a broad-based government that could incorporate other parties to fill posts that will be vacant after the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) is no longer part of the cabinet.
The offer drew mixed reaction from opposition parties though the majority said that they want new elections and formation of an interim government to oversee them and that the offer of positions will not resolve issues facing the country.
Last month, Bashir held talks directly with Al-Mahdi and through envoys with the head of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani.
Al-Mahdi said that his talks with the NCP are over the "national agenda" and not on assuming post in the new government.
"I don’t know what more can we do to prove that we are not after participation [in the government]? We are talking about the national agenda that everyone can be part of" Al-Mahdi told reporters on Saturday at a press conference.
"Please write in large font; The issue is not that we want ministries or prime minister. The issue is not who rules Sudan but how it is ruled," he added.
The former PM stressed that his party wants a new constitution, brotherhood accord with the South, securing basic freedoms, resolving Darfur crisis, new economic policy, realistic handling of the standoff with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a transitional government.
"Any participation in the manner that makes us part of a program that lacks freedoms is out of question," he said.
Mahdi’s abrupt meeting with Bashir in January drew strong criticism from other opposition parties who felt betrayed. Even members of the NUP were outraged as they have been pushing for confrontation with the government.
In a related development, the head of the national alliance powers Farouk Abu Eissa urged the government to release all detainees who were arrested during demonstrations that took place in different parts of Sudan in late January.
He called the government’s crackdown as "barbaric" and "unethical" and said that Khartoum must learn lessons from recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled deeply entrenched regimes.
He also reiterated that any participation in the government through bilateral talks will not fix any problems.
This week, a group of mothers who have their children still detained by authorities staged a demonstration in front of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) headquarters and vowed a sit-in next soon unless the prisoners are released or charged.
Sudanese youths have been attempting to mobilize through social networking sites and stage demonstrations in a manner similar to that of Tunisia and Egypt but have only managed to assemble few hundreds and were quickly rounded up and arrested by NISS agents.
Political tensions are growing in North Sudan as the South preparers to break away and opposition parties are becoming increasingly frustrated with the full hegemony of the NCP over the state and decision making process.
February 11, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan has finally broken its silence over the events in Egypt, where 18 days of public protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign on Friday after nearly 30 years in power, paying tribute to the “Egyptian revolution in order to shore up democracy.”
- Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate at Cairo’s Tahrir Square after president Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11, 2011 (Getty Images)
The announcement of Mubarak’s resignation by Vice-President Omar Suleiman on Friday evening sparked an outburst of joy by hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who have been protesting for three weeks in Al-Tahrir (Freedom) square in Cairo and throughout the country demanding an end to his authoritarian rule.
"In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country," Suliman said in a televised statement.
Mubarak’s departure spawned similar feelings of happiness across the Middle East and in Sudan whose youth attempted last month to stage similar protests, which were squashed by the police who used tear gas and batons, and arrested dozens of demonstrators.
Sudan official news agency (SUNA) on Friday quoted the secretary of external relations at the ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP), Mustafa Osman Isma’il, as saying the government “welcomes the popular Egyptian uprising in order to shore up the pillars of democracy, rule of the people and the establishment of a powerful state.”
Isma’il further said that his party hopes that the new Egyptian revolution would “meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people as well as those of the Islamic and Arabic nation.”
He said that the NCP had been maintaining communication with all Egyptian political forces during the demonstration.
The presidency of the republic issued another statement in which it congratulated the Egyptian people on “realizing their wishes, and on the triumph of their revolution."
"The presidency affirms its unqualified support and stands firmly by the Egyptian people in realizing their aspirations and enhancing Egypt’s position and recovering its role as a pioneering Arab, African and Islamic country," added the statement which was also reported by SUNA.
Sudan’s relations with Egypt have seen ups and downs during the last 21 years, reaching its nadir in 1995 when a group of Islamists allegedly back by Sudan attempted to assassinate Mubarak in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. But relations between the two neighbors gradually improved after the 1999’s ousting of Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi, whom Egypt accuses of planning the failed attempt.
Mubarak has backed Al-Bashir in the face of charges laid against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the background of the Darfur conflict in western Sudan which has killed more than 300,000 and displaced millions since it erupted in 2003, according to UN figures.
The NCP is originally an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which was banned by Mubarak. The party has ruled Sudan since 1989 when it seized power in a military coup that toppled the government of former Prime Minister Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, marking an epoch of political repression and curtailment of public freedom.
However, the party unclenched its fist following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with South Sudan in 2005, allowing a small margin of freedom for political organizations and later signing a peace agreement with the opposition in Cairo.
The NCP won a landslide victory in last year’s general elections which were mired in reports of mass fraud.
In the run-up to South Sudan’s referendum on independence, which ended last month with a mass vote in favor of secession from the North, the NCP invited the opposition to join the government. But the opposition rejected the offer, demanding that the party dissolves the current government and organizes fresh elections.
In Khartoum, Egyptians celebrated the results at Gad an Egyptian restaurant on Airport road. Around 60 people waved flags and chanted as cars driving passed honked their horns in solidarity.
Khartoum, Feb. 11 (SUNA) - The National Congress Friday welcomed the Egyptian people's intifada (uprising) in establishing the pillars of democracy, rule of people and formation of a strong State
In this regard, Adviser of the President and Secretary of Foreign Relations of the National Congress, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, expressed his hope that the coming Egyptian government meet the aspirations of the Egyptian People and the Arab and Islamic nations
He further reiterated the continuity of contacts of the National congress with all the Egyptian political forces during the time of demonstration and revolution, expressing hope that Egypt returns to assume its pioneer position in leading the Arab and Islamic nations
Khartoum, Feb. 11 (SUNA) - Sudan has declared that its welcome and respect to the choice and will of the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt toward the realization of their legitimate aspirations and hopes in dignity, freedom, stability and peace
A statement issued Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the peaceful transfer of power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expressed a sincere national will for realization of the legitimate inspirations of the Egyptian People
SUNA hereunder publishes an unofficial translation of the Statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this connection:- Sudan announces that it welcomes and respects the choice and will of the Egyptian people for realization of their legitimate aspirations and hopes in dignity, freedom, stability and peace
Sudan affirms that the peaceful transfer of power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expresses a sincere national will to lead to the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the People of Egypt
Sudan expresses its hope that this popular change begins a new chapter in the history of modern Egypt in order to achieve economic prosperity and socio-political stability and be a real sign of the return of Egypt to play its role and leadership in the region, and further the renewal of cohesion and solidarity of the Arab and Muslim World
Sudan reiterates the necessity to enable the people of Egypt reap the fruits of their national revolution, determine their choices and design their won political future
Sudan also renews its congratulations due to the Egyptian people over the triumph of their free will and looks forward to foster and upgrade the bilateral distinguished relations of fraternity to approach wider horizons and the highest levels of unity, cooperation and integration that are fostered by the history and common destiny for the benefit of peoples of the two sister nations
Mr Mubarak has ruled Egypt for 30 years
In an announcement on state TV, Vice-President Omar Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the military.
It came as thousands massed in Cairo and other Egyptian cities for an 18th day of protest to demand Mr Mubarak's resignation.
Protesters responded by cheering, waving flags, embracing and sounding car horns. "The people have brought down the regime," they chanted.
Mr Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the high command of the armed forces.
"In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country," he said.
Protester: 'I'll tell my children we made this revolution happen'
"May God help everybody."
Military sources said the military high command was headed by Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
Mr Mubarak has already left Cairo and is in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has a residence, officials say.
In Cairo, thousands of people are gathered outside the presidential palace, in Tahrir Square and at state TV.
They came out in anger following an address by Mr Mubarak on Thursday. He had been expected to announce his resgination but instead stopped short of stepping down, transferring most powers to Mr Suleiman.
The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo said the announcement caught everyone by surprise, and all over the city drivers honked their horns and people fired guns into the air.
But the army takeover looks very much like a military coup, our correspondent adds.
The constitution has been breached, he says, because officially it should be the speaker of parliament who takes over, not the army leadership.
The anti-government protests that began on 25 January were triggered by widespread unrest in Egypt over unemployment, poverty and corruption.
They followed a popular uprising in Tunisia which brought about the downfall of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
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