- Sudan’s military forces detained the prime minister and other officials in an apparent coup that jeopardized the country’s fragile transition to democracy.
- In response, thousands of people filled the streets of Khartoum and its twin city, Omdurman, protesting the apparent military takeover.
- The United States said Monday morning that it was “deeply alarmed” by the situation.
Military forces detained the interim prime minister and several members of the Sudanese government on Monday, blocked connections and cut several bridges in the capital Khartoum, according to the country’s Information Ministry, which described the situation as a coup, reported The Associated Press.
In response, thousands of people filled the streets of Khartoum and its twin city, Omdurman, protesting the apparent military takeover. Images shared online appeared to show protesters blocking streets and setting tires on fire while security forces used tear gas to disperse them.
Apparent coup in Sudan
People chanted “The people are stronger, more strong“And” Withdrawal is not an option! ” as smoke from burning tires rose into the air. A military takeover of the government would be a major setback for Sudan, which has struggled to advance its transition since veteran autocrat Omar al-Bashir was deposed amid mass protests.
The moves come less than a month before powerful General Abdel-Fattah Burhan was expected to hand over the leadership of the ruling transitional council to a civilian. The Sovereign Council, which has ruled the country since shortly after al-Bashir’s ouster, has military and civilian members who have frequently disagreed over the course of Sudan and the pace of the transition to democracy.
The US said it was “deeply alarmed”
The United States and the European Union expressed concern about the events in Sudan. The United States special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, indicated On Monday in the morning that he was “deeply alarmed” by the reports. “The United States is deeply alarmed by reports of a military takeover by the transitional government. This would contravene the Constitutional Declaration and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people and is absolutely unacceptable, ”said Feltman.
Feltman had met over the weekend with Sudanese military and civilian leaders to try to resolve the growing differences between members of the interim government. The European Union Foreign Minister, Josep Borrel, tweeted that he was following events with “the utmost concern.”
Prime Minister of Sudan was arrested
Before dawn on Monday, the first reports of a military uprising began to emerge. By midmorning, the Information Ministry confirmed that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his wife had been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location. Several prominent members of the government were also detained, according to the ministry in a Facebook post. His whereabouts were unknown.
In addition, access to the internet was widely cut off and the state news broadcaster was broadcasting traditional patriotic music. At one point, the military stormed the offices of the state television station in Omdurman and detained several workers, according to the Information Ministry.