Sudan's Bashir Steps Down as Ruling Party Head Amid Protests

(Bloomberg) -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir stepped down as chairman of the ruling party after more than two months of anti-government protests rocked the North African nation.

The former governor of Northern Kordofan state, Ahmed Haroun, will be the acting chief of the National Congress Party until it chooses a successor, it said Friday in a statement. Like al-Bashir, Haroun is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in the western region of Darfur.

Sudan's Bashir Steps Down as Ruling Party Head Amid Protests

The NCP said al-Bashir’s decision to leave the post would fulfill his wish “to be a national president and stand apart from any political party.”

Sudan has been hit since mid-December by demonstrations against rising living costs that developed into calls for al-Bashir, 75, to step down. Dozens of people have been killed in the unrest, which has posed the biggest challenge to his rule since he seized power in a 1989 Islamist-backed coup.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.