updateA coup attempt is underway in Sudan early Monday morning, the Sudanese Ministry of Information confirms. According to the Arab channel Al Hadath TV, unknown gunmen stormed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s home and placed him under house arrest. Four government officials are also said to have been arrested, as was Hamdok’s spokesman.
The prime minister is said to have been moved to an unknown location after he refused to support the coup. This is reported by the Sudanese Ministry of Information. It also reports that soldiers have stormed radio and television headquarters in Omdurman, the largest city in Sudan.
Heavily armed Sudanese soldiers are present all over the capital Khartoum today. Unions call on Khartoum residents via Facebook and Twitter to take to the streets to defend the government. Images from the Al Arabiya channel show people erecting burning barricades in the streets.
Witnesses told the channel that people were injured in fighting outside the headquarters of the Sudanese army. Part of the internet and telephone traffic has been shut down, and Karthoem airport has since been closed.
The United Nations is deeply concerned about reports of a coup in Sudan, said Volker Perthes, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, also said he is following developments with “great concern”.
The Arab League also expressed its concerns, calling on all parties concerned to adhere to the Democracy Transition Agreement signed in May 2019.
In Sudan, the regime of dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019 after large-scale protests. Since then, a transitional government has been in power, seeking rapprochement with the West and also establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of Sudan’s transitional council since April 12, 2019, is expected to issue a statement on the current situation soon, Al-Hadath TV reported.
Call for barricades and strikes
Sudan’s pro-democracy group, the Sudanese Association of Professionals, today called for a general strike and civil disobedience. “We urge the masses to go up and occupy the state, to close all roads with barricades, to start a general strike, not to cooperate with the coup plotters and to use civil disobedience to kill them.” confront,” the group said in a statement.
Last month, the authorities in Sudan also claimed that they had foiled a coup d’état. State media and government and army spokesmen then reported that a group of soldiers had tried to take control of both the army base and a building of the state broadcaster. They were eventually overpowered by colleagues using tanks and other weaponry. Several dozen soldiers were arrested on suspicion of participating in the coup attempt.
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The coup attempts are resurfacing old rifts in the country: the more conservative Islamists who want a military government versus those who brought down al-Bashir’s regime in part through mass protests. Both groups have taken to the streets in recent days to demonstrate.
According to current reports, two ministers have been arrested: Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Baloul. Transitional council member Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman and media adviser to Prime Minister Faisal Mohammed Saleh have also been arrested. The same would apply to Ayman Khalid, governor of Karthum, reports his official Facebook page.
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