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Eritrea for mobile viewing Bouteflika's resignation could spark the downfall of Sudan's autocratic leader

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Date: Thursday, 04 April 2019

President Omar al-Bashir Photo: Jesse B/Creative Commons

SUDANESE protesters are hopeful that their continued resistance will force President Omar al-Bashir to resign following Wednesday’s fall of Algerian leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika after 20 years in power.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) – the umbrella body of trade unions and opposition groups that organised the protests against Mr Bashir – said the resignation of Mr Bouteflika shows the “success of peaceful resistance within Africa.”

Commenting after the Algerian president finally stood down after weeks of protests, SPA spokeswoman Sarah Abdel-Jaleel said that it “definitely gives us all hope and reassurance that we must continue.”

Mr Bouteflika’s resignation was accepted and formalised by Algeria’s Constitutional Council on Wednesday as he issued a letter appealing for forgiveness.

He told them “to stay united, and never divide yourselves” as he brought an end to two decades in power with president of Algeria’s upper house Abdelkader Bensalah expected to act as interim leader until elections are held.

The outgoing president’s letter said: “I ask your forgiveness for any failing toward you.

“I am leaving the political scene without sadness or fear, for the future of our country.”

However, demonstrations are planned in Algeria today with fears that those taking over from Mr Bouteflika are too close to the structures of power, including Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, accused of contributing to fraud in the last presidential election in 2014 and cracking down on past protests.

Algerian protester Selim Sarar said the demonstrations, which have taken place for the last six Fridays, were important in maintaining the movement for change.

"We must continue the popular movement in order to meet all the demands of the Algerian people.

"We want a transitional period, during which the government is the people, not the current one, because if the current system forms it, it will be like the movement never happened.

"The movement must go on,” he said.

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