For many years, Mr. al-Bashir seemed untouchable. A guilty ruling in the corruption case helps “break this spell of immunity that has been pervasive” under Mr. al-Bashir and his ruling National Congress Party, said Jonas Horner, a Sudan expert with the International Crisis Group, a research organization.
Following a career in the military, Mr. al-Bashir rose to power in a bloodless putsch in 1989. During his reign, Sudan was plagued by armed conflict and multiple economic shocks. Mr. al-Bashir gave refuge to Osama bin Laden years before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the United States listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
But last December, protests triggered by the high price of bread, a symptom of an acute economic crisis, erupted in the northeastern city of Atbara, quickly spreading to major cities including Omdurman and the capital, Khartoum.
To subdue the uprising, authorities temporarily shut down the internet, arrested opposition figures and critical journalists, and used tear gas to disperse growing crowds that chanted, “The people want the fall of the regime.”
Following months of tumultuous protests led by young Sudanese, doctors and other professionals, the military removed Mr. al-Bashir from office and arrested him on April 11, bringing to an end the rule of one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
Mr. al-Bashir was initially put under house arrest at his residence in the military headquarters, but was transferred to the Kober prison, where Mr. al-Bashir once jailed demonstrators and political prisoners.
In mid-August, Sudan’s generals, along with the opposition alliance that grew out of the protest movement, reached a power-sharing agreement that promises to oversee elections and a return to civilian rule in three years. Abdalla Hamdok, an economist, was named prime minister, while Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan leads an 11-person sovereign council.
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