Sudan’s army fires at anti-coup protesters, killing several.
Sudan’s army seized power from a transitional government, killing at least three people and wounding 80 when street protests broke out against the inauguration.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Khartoum and its sister city Omdurman following the morning arrests of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior officials by the country’s security forces.
The leader of the seizure of power, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dissolved the Sovereign Civil-Military Council that had been established to guide the country towards democracy after the overthrow of leader Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago. . .
Al-Burhan, who is also the head of the power-sharing governing council, declared a state of emergency across the country, saying the armed forces needed to ensure security, but vowing to hold elections in July 2023 and hand them over to a government. . . elected civilian. later.
“What the country is going through now is a real threat and a danger to the dreams of the youth and the hopes of the nation,” he said.
Hamdok, an economist and former senior UN official who was appointed technocratic prime minister in 2019, was moved to an undisclosed location after he refused to issue a statement in support of the coup, the Information Ministry said.
Thousands of Sudanese who opposed the takeover took to the streets and were attacked near the military headquarters in Khartoum. In Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum, protesters blocked the streets and chanted in support of the civilian government.
The Forces for Freedom and Change, Sudan’s main opposition coalition, called for civil disobedience and protests across the country and demanded that the transitional military council transfer power to the civilian government.
Sudan’s central bank employees said they went on immediate strike in rejection of the military coup, Sudan’s Information Ministry wrote on its Facebook page.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Hala al-Karib, a Sudanese women’s rights activist in the Horn of Africa, said Sudan was going through “very dark times in its history” as it is at “a crossroads”.
He called on the international community to pressure the military to respect the constitution and the agreements with the civil council.
“The army has disgraced its agreement with the civilian government by arresting the prime minister and several cabinet ministers,” al-Karib said. “The Sudanese people do not know if they are safe or not.”
The country had been nervous since last month, when a failed coup plot attributed to al-Bashir supporters sparked recriminations among the military and civilians in the transitional cabinet.
In recent weeks, a coalition of rebel groups and political parties has aligned itself with the army and called on it to dissolve the civilian government, while cabinet ministers participated in protests against the prospect of a military government.
The coup also came just weeks before the military was supposed to hand over the leadership of the council that governs the country to civilians.
Washington had tried to prevent the collapse of the power-sharing agreement by sending a special envoy, Jeffrey Feltman.
State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday urged the immediate restoration of a civilian government. “The civilian-led transitional government must be restored immediately and represents the will of the people,” he told reporters.
“In light of these developments, the United States is pausing aid” in search of financial support, he said. The United States had allocated $ 700 million to support the country’s democratic transition.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the immediate release of Sudan’s prime minister and all other officials.
“I condemn the ongoing military coup in Sudan. Prime Minister Hamdok and all other officials must be released immediately. There must be full respect for the charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to support the people of Sudan, ”Guterres wrote on Twitter.
I condemn the ongoing military coup in Sudan. Prime Minister Hamdok and all other officials must be released immediately. There must be full respect for the charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to support the people of Sudan.
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 25, 2021
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that violence and bloodshed must be avoided at all costs in Sudan.
“The actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development,” he said. “We call on the security forces to immediately release the people they have illegally detained.”
The UK called the military coup in Sudan an “unacceptable betrayal of the Sudanese people” and called on the security forces to release Hamdok.
The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressed “deep dismay” at the volatile political situation in Sudan.
In a statement posted on the commission’s Twitter account, Mahamat said he was alarmed by the events that led to the arrest of Hamdok and other public officials.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit urged all parties to “fully abide by” the constitutional declaration signed in August 2019, which was aimed at paving the way for a transition to civil government and democratic elections.
Sudan has been ruled for most of its post-colonial history by military leaders who seized power through coups. He had become an outcast to the West and was on the US terrorism blacklist under al-Bashir, who hosted Osama bin Laden in the 1990s and is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes.