KHARTOUM (Reuters) – On the night of April 10, Sudan’s feared spymaster, Salah Gosh, visited President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in his palace to reassure the leader that mass protests posed no threat to his rule.
FILE PHOTO – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir speaks to the crowd after a swearing-in ceremony at green square in Khartoum, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
For four months, thousands of Sudanese had been taking to the streets. They were demanding democracy and an end to economic hardship.
Gosh told his boss, one of the Arab world’s longest serving leaders, that a protest camp outside the Defense Ministry nearby would be contained or crushed, said four sources, one of whom was present at the meeting.
His mind at ease, Bashir went to bed. When he woke, four hours later, it was to the realization that Gosh had betrayed him. His palace guards were gone, replaced by regular soldiers. His 30-year rule was at an end.
A member of Bashir’s inner circle, one of a handful of people to speak with him in those final hours, said the president went to pray. “Army officers were waiting for him when he finished,” the insider told Reuters.
They informed Bashir that Sudan’s High Security Committee, made up of the defense minister and the heads of the army, intelligence and police, was removing him from power, having concluded he’d lost control of the country.