Sudan prime minister and wife at home “under heavy security” after military coup – as ministers reject takeover

World

Sudan’s prime minister Abdalla Hamdock and his wife are at home “under heavy security” after the military seized control in a violent coup.

The premier was allowed to return to his house in Kafouri, in the state of Khartoum on Tuesday, according to an official who asked to remain anonymous.

But it has yet to be confirmed whether the Hamdocks are free to move or make calls.

In this frame taken from video, the head of the military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, announced in a televised address, that he was dissolving the country's ruling Sovereign Council, as well as the government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. 
PIC:AP
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Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan announced in a televised address that he was dissolving the country’s ruling Sovereign Council

It comes after the country’s ruling general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, claimed on Tuesday that Mr Hamdock was being held “for his own safety” and would be released “today or tomorrow”.

The prime minister’s office earlier issued a statement voicing concerns about him and other officials who are believed to be detained.

General al-Burhan warned how members of the dissolved government could face trial.

At least seven people have been killed and 140 hurt in the wake of the coup on Monday, which saw Sudan declare a state of emergency.

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Thousands of protesters have descended on the Sudanese capital Khartoum after the military arrested government ministers.

Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators responded by blockading roads in Khartoum.

The coup has been widely denounced by the international community, with UN Security Council members due to meet for private talks on how to deal with the crisis on Tuesday.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, urged world powers to act decisively at the council, insisting unity was necessary to confront an “epidemic of coups d’état” recently.

Meanwhile US President Joe Biden’s administration announced the suspension of $700million in emergency assistance to Sudan in a bid to send a strong message to military leaders.

A protester waves a flag during what the information ministry calls a military coup in Khartoum, Sudan, October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
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A protester waves a flag during the military takeover which left at least seven dead

“They should first and foremost cease any violence against innocent civilians, and… they should release those who have been detained and they should get back on a democratic path,” said National Security adviser Jake Sullivan.

The coup follows weeks of simmering tensions between military and civilian leaders over Sudan’s transition to democracy, following a failed coup in September.

Now the bloodshed threatens to derail progress made since autocrat Omar al-Bashir lost power after a popular uprising two years ago.

Speaking on Tuesday, Gen Burhan said the military was forced to step in to resolve a growing political crisis which he alleged could have resulted in civil war.

“The whole country was deadlocked due to political rivalries,” he told a televised news conference.

He warned senior officials who allegedly tried to incite a rebellion within the armed forces would face trial – but vowed others who are found innocent would be freed.

But despite the prime minister being toppled, foreign minister Mariam al-Mahdi remained defiant, declaring she and members of Mr Hamdock’s administration remained the legitimate authority in Sudan.

“We are still in our positions. We reject such coup and such unconstitutional measures,” she said.

“We will continue our peaceful disobedience and resistance.”

Protestors are set to attend a mass march on Saturday to demand a return to civilian rule – as union leaders urged workers to go on strike and engage in civil disobedience.

It comes as Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on Tuesday it has suspended all flights to and from from the Khartoum International Airport until October 30.

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