Military forces have arrested most cabinet ministers and pro-government party leaders. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been taken to an undisclosed location, and has called upon the people to resist the coup.
Sudan’s top general declared a state of emergency in the country on Monday and dissolved the government and ruling Sovereign Council, with ousted Sudanese officials calling the move a military coup.
Most of Sudan’s cabinet ministers and pro-government party leaders have been arrested.
PM Hamdok taken to undisclosed location
Armed forces took Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to an undisclosed location, after initial reports of him being put under house arrest. “After he refused to be a part of the coup, a force from the army detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and took him to an unidentified location,” the Sudanese information ministry said. The ministry added Hamdok was calling upon the Sudanese people to resist the coup and “defend their revolution.”
The statement also said that soldiers had stormed into the state broadcaster’s TV and radio headquarters in the city of Omdurman, and detained some staff.
Demonstrations against the coup were already taking place in Khartoum and Omdurman.
Footage from the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Mubasher TV channel showed protesters crossing barricades and entering the street surrounding military areas, with security standing by. An unconfirmed video on social media showed shots had been fired, with at least one person severely injured.
What did the military say?
General Abdel-Fattah Burhan said in a televised address that a new technocratic government would lead the country until elections in July 2023. He said fighting between various Sudanese political factions has prompted the military to intervene.
He has also vowed to complete the country’s transition to democracy.
“The Armed Forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country’s leadership to a civilian, elected government,” Burhan said.
The information ministry called it a full military coup, and demanded the release of all detainees.
“Civilian members of the transitional sovereign council and a number of ministers from the transitional government have been detained by joint military forces,” said a statement by the information ministry.
Airport cordoned, internet services disrupted
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, the country’s main pro-democratic political group, called on people to demonstrate in the streets and counter the coup.
“We urge the masses to go out on the streets and occupy them, close all roads with barricades, stage a general labor strike,” said the group in a Facebook post.
The Sudanese Communist party said this was a “full military coup” orchestrated by Burhan, the head of the Sovereign Council, and called on workers to go on strike.
Local media reports said the Khartoum International Airport had been cordoned off by military forces. Al Arabiya reported that major airlines had suspended flights to the capital city Khartoum.
Sources said internet services had been disrupted across Khartoum. NetBlocks, a group that tracks disruptions across the internet, said it had seen a “significant disruption” to both fixed-line and mobile internet connections across Sudan with multiple providers early Monday.
Last month, Sudan saw a failed military coup attempt.
Kholood Khair, a managing partner at the Insight Strategy Partners think tank in Khartoum, told DW on Monday that the relationship between Sudan’s civilian leadership and the military had been “on the ropes for a while.” She said recent attempts by the civilian government to push the military towards reform have “deteriorated” the relationship.
US, EU call for democracy
The European Union called for restoration of the transition process. The German diplomat for sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel, Robert Dölger, said on Twitter, “We stand with the people of Sudan and their aspiration for freedom and democracy.”
The United States Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman had met with Sudanese military and civilian leaders on Saturday and Sunday to find a resolution to the ongoing dispute. Feltman called the military takeover “utterly unacceptable,” and said changes to the transitional government put US assistance at risk.
Volker Perthes, the United Nations special representative to Sudan said he was “deeply concerned” about the situation. “The reported detentions of the Prime Minister, government officials, and politicians are unacceptable,” he said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also condemned the “ongoing military coup in Sudan” in a statement.