Armed forces detained Sudan’s prime minister over his refusal to support their ‘coup’, after weeks of tensions between military and civilian figures who shared power since the ouster of Omar al Bashir.
People in Sudan are holding demonstrations to protest against the military’s detention of civilian leaders, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
The development comes after weeks of tensions between military and civilian figures who have shared power since the ouster of Omar al Bashir.
Here is what we know so far:
Prime Minister Hamdok and most of the members of Sudan’s cabinet were arrested on Monday by the country’s military in an apparent coup.
The information ministry said in a statement that the security forces holding Hamdok under house arrest were pressuring him to issue a statement in support of the coup.
Reports also emerged of the arrest of senior figures, including Information Minister Hamza Baloul and Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, member of the country’s ruling transitional body, known as the Sovereign Council.
What’s the conflict?
The military and transitional civilian authorities have ruled together since April 2019 when al Bashir was ousted and arrested. He is now behind bars in Khartoum’s high-security Kober prison.
He is facing the International Criminal Court charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region.
The military and a coalition of groups had agreed to launch the country’s ruling transitional body, the Sovereign Council.
It was meant to rule for another year with plans of holding elections and transitioning power to civilian rule.
But with a large number of rival political groups and divisions within the military, the deal has seen several divisions.
Sudan’s failed coup plot last month attributed to al Bashir caused distrust between military and civilian groups meant to be sharing power.
It also pitted extreme conservative groups who wanted a military government against those who toppled al Bashir in protests.
In recent days, both sides have held demonstrations.
“This is the most significant road bump that has happened over the two-year course of this transitional period. The country is due to have elections in early 2024, and this transitional period is really meant to set up the country to really cleanse it.
How the world is reacting to Sudan crisis
“In many ways, from a lot of the administrative and harmful norms and institutions that had characterized the 30 years of Omar al Bashir. And so this was never going to be smooth,” Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group told TRT World.
“I think the coup attempt this morning is evidence of just how existential this all is for both sides, for both the military and perhaps also Islamist groups.”
What happened after the detentions?
Internet and telecom services were cut and roads and bridges connecting with Khartoum were blocked off.
Security forces stormed the headquarters of Sudan’s state broadcaster in the city of Omdurman.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Sudanese capital Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman to protest the military coup.
Several people were injured in clashes between the security forces and anti-coup protesters who tried to get close to buildings housing military headquarters in Khartoum, Al-Arabiya TV reported, citing witnesses.
What was the international reaction?
The Arab League expressed “deep concern” about the apparent military coup.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary-General of the 22-member bloc, urged all parties to “fully abide” by the constitutional declaration signed in August 2019, which aimed for transition to civilian rule and elections.
Sudan blames Omar al Bashir’s supporters for attempted coup
“It is important to respect all decisions and agreements that were decided upon … refraining from any measures that would disrupt the transitional period and shake stability in Sudan,” he said.
The United Nations called the detention of civilian leaders including PM Abdalla Hamdok as “unacceptable”.
“I call on the security forces to immediately release those who have been unlawfully detained or placed under house arrest,” Volker Perthes, UN special representative to Sudan said in a statement on Twitter.
The European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Twitter that he’s following events in the northeast African nation with the “utmost concern”.
“The EU calls on all stakeholders and regional partners to put back on track the transition process,” Borrell wrote.
A member of the civilian sovereign council Mohammed Hassan Eltaishi called the coup a “political foolishness” and that he would resist it “until the last drop of blood”.
As the political crisis deepens, Sudan also faces economic crisis with record high inflation and shortages of basic goods.