Sudan's military seized power by coup and arrested the prime minister

The Sudan's military took control Monday and dismantled the transitional government. This happened hours after troops had arrested the prime minister. Thousands protested the coup that threatened to undermine the country's progress towards democracy.

Sudan's military seized power by coup and arrested the prime minister

The Sudan's military took control Monday and dismantled the transitional government. This happened hours after troops had arrested the prime minister. Thousands protested the coup that threatened to undermine the country's progress towards democracy.

Mine Nur Deniz
Mine Nur Deniz
26 October 2021 Tuesday 12:58
51 Reads
Sudan's military seized power by coup and arrested the prime minister

According to the Sudan Doctors Committee, three protesters were shot by security forces.

This takeover was condemned by the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union. It comes two years after long-standing protesters forced Omar al-Bashir to resign and only weeks before the military was to give the leadership of the government council over to civilians.

The U.N. Security Council has scheduled an emergency closed session on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Sudan coup. The emergency consultations were requested by the United States, United Kingdom and France as well as Norway, Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, and Norway.

Thousands protested in Khartoum and Omdurman after the arrests of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, as well as other high-ranking officials, early on Monday morning. As security forces used tear gas, they set fire to tires and blocked streets.

Protesters could be heard shouting "The people are stronger than ever!" and "Retreat cannot be an option!" A social media video captured crowds crossing bridges across the Nile to reach the capital. The U.S Embassy in Cairo warned that troops were blocking some parts of the city, and asked the military to "immediately cease violence."

Dura Gambo, a pro-democracy activist, said that paramilitary forces pursued protesters through Khartoum neighborhoods.

The Associated Press obtained records from a Khartoum hospital that showed some patients were admitted with gunshot wounds.

General Abdel-Fattah Burhan (head of the military) announced that he would dissolve the government and the Sovereign Council. This joint military-civilian body was established shortly after al-Bashir's ouster as the leader of the country.

Burhan claimed that quarrels between political factions led to the military intervention. Tensions have been increasing for weeks as a result of the speed and course of the transition to democracy within Sudan, an African nation linked by language and culture with the Arab world.

The general declared an emergency and stated that the military would appoint technocratic leaders to lead the country to the elections scheduled for July 2023. He made it clear that the military would remain in control.

He stated that the Armed Forces would continue to complete the democratic transition up until the handover the country's leadership over to a civilian, elected administration. He said that the constitution would need to be revised and that a legislative body would be created with the participation "young men or women who participated in this revolution."

The Information Ministry, which is still loyal to the dissolved government, called his speech "announcement for a military coup".

At a briefing held in New York, Volker Perthes, U.N. special representative for Sudan, stated that darkness was falling in Khartoum as barricades remained burning and occasionally gunshots could still be heard.

According to White House spokesperson Karine Jean Pierre, President Joe Biden was briefed about Sudan on Monday morning. She said that the U.S. was "deeply alarm" by reports of a military coup and demanded the immediate release and compensation of the prime minister as well as other officials.

Jean-Pierre stated that "the actions of today are in stark contradiction to the will and aspirations of the Sudanese people for peace, liberty, and justice."

According to Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, $700 million of emergency economic assistance to Sudan has been suspended by the Biden administration. This aid was supposed to be used to support the transition. He called it "pause" and demanded that the civilian-led government immediately be restored.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres "strongly condemned the ongoing military coup in Khartoum" and any actions that could jeopardize Sudan’s political transition or stability, said Stephane Dujarric, his spokesperson.

Guterres called for the release also of government officials, according to the spokesman. The same was true for the African Union. Joseph Borrell, the EU's chief of foreign affairs, tweeted that he was closely following the developments with "the greatest concern."

Michelle Bachelet (the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights) warned Sudan that it could slip backward. She urged the military to release the officials, pull out from the streets, and resolve differences through dialogue with the transitional government.

Sudan tried to get rid of its international pariah status under autocrat al-Bashir who is still in prison. In 2020, the U.S. removed Sudan from its list of terrorist state sponsors. This opened the door to much-needed foreign loans and investments.

However, the shock of many economic reforms required by international lending institutions has left Sudan in a difficult position.

There have been fears that the military may be plotting a coup. In fact, there was a failed attempt to overthrow al-Bashir in September. Tensions only grew as tensions rose after the country split along old lines with more conservative Islamists wanting a military government against those who overthrew al-Bashir in protests. Both camps have held demonstrations in recent days.

The generals are calling for the dissolution of Hamdok's transitional regime. Burhan, who heads the Sovereign Council ruling Sovereign Council, has said repeatedly that the military would only give power to an elected government. This suggests that the generals may not be sticking to their plan to give the leadership of the body to a civilian sometime this November. Although the council is the ultimate decision-maker the Hamdok government manages Sudan's day to day affairs.

Jeffrey Feltman (the U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa) met with Sudanese officials this weekend. A senior Sudanese military officer said he tried unsuccessfully in an attempt to convince the generals to follow the plan.

According to the official, the arrests started a few hours later. He spoke under anonymity as he wasn't authorized to speak to media. According to the official, the prime minister and others were being held in a military camp just outside Khartoum.

Perthes stated that he and Feltman had attempted to encourage a return of dialogue in parallel meetings with military and political leaders in recent weeks. He said that a coup would "squander all the achievements of two years of transition."

Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, stated that Feltman had warned Burhan and other people about unconstitutional changes to the government.

Tribal protestors have blocked the main Red Sea port in the country for several weeks, giving the military an advantage over civilian leaders. Burhan and his deputy General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo are the two highest-ranking military officers. They also have close ties to Egypt and wealthy Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Before dawn, the first reports about a possible military coup surfaced. The Information Ministry confirmed these reports, saying that Hamdok and other senior government officials had been detained. The state news channel played patriotic music and internet access was disrupted.

Hamdok's office condemned the Facebook detentions as a "complete coup." It also stated that his wife was also being held.

Since 1956, Sudan has been subject to several coups. Al-Bashir was elected to power in 1989 after a coup that saw the removal of the country's previous elected government.

According to a senior military officer and another official, among those held were political and high-ranking government officials. They spoke only because they weren't authorized to brief media.

The main pro-democracy organization and two political parties appealed for people to protest the arrests. Burhan's "full military coup", the Communist Party called on workers to protest it.

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