What Happened: Thousands of Sudanese protesters converged on President Omar al Bashir’s compound in central Khartoum on April 6, which also houses Sudan’s defense ministry and army headquarters, Reuters reported. Security forces fired tear gas and tried to disperse the crowd.
Why It Matters: The protest appeared to be the biggest demonstration in months against al Bashir’s 30-year rule. Activists, apparently emboldened by the success of protests in Algeria that forced President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika to resign this week, hope to increase pressure on al Bashir to step down.
Background: Rallies across the country marked the anniversary of the 1985 coup against former President Jaafar Nimeiri that paved the way for elections and a civilian government. Al Bashir came to power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989. In February, he declared a state of emergency as part of a series of moves aimed at tightening his control.