Sudan’s military has placed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest after taking him to an unknown location for his refusal to support a coup, the information ministry said. Members of Sudan’s transitional government and other civilian leaders have also been arrested in an apparent coup, BBC reports.
Military forces also stormed Sudan’s state broadcaster in the city of Omdurman and detained workers, the information ministry added. Anti-military protesters have since taken to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, as a senior military officer has declared a state of emergency and dissolved the transitional sovereign council and the government. There have been reports of gunfire with some protesters injured.
Military and civilian groups have been sharing power in the country since long-serving president President Omar al-Bashir was toppled in 2019. A power-sharing deal between the military and a coalition of groups – the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) – was agreed, bringing into place the Sovereign Council. The Sovereign Council was to rule the country for another year to make way for elections and the transition to civilian rule, BBC reported.
But after a coup attempt in September that was attributed to followers of Bashir, military leaders have been demanding reforms to the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and the replacement of the cabinet.
Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan, who headed the power-sharing ruling body, said on Monday the transitional government had been dissolved due to political infighting, BBC reported.
Following Monday’s arrests, the statement by the information ministry said Hamdok was being forced to support a coup but was refusing to do so. He subsequently called on protesters to take to the streets. “We call on the Sudanese people to protest using all peaceful means possible … to take back their revolution from the thieves,” Hamdok’s office said in a statement.
The United States, UN, EU and Arab League have condemned what the information ministry in Sudan has called a military coup. The UK’s special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather, said in a tweet that military arrests of civilian leaders would be “a betrayal of the revolution, the transition and the Sudanese people”.
The information ministry said internet services had been “cut off from mobile phone networks and bridges were closed by military forces.” Khartoum airport is also closed, and international flights have been suspended.