Thousands protest arrests as senior military officer declares state of emergency and dissolves transitional gov’t.
The United States has suspended $700m in aid to Sudan after a military takeover and urged the immediate restoration of a civilian government.
“The civilian-led transitional government should be immediately restored and represents the will of the people,” US Department of State spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
Earlier on Monday, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said that three people had died and at least 80 others were injured on Monday after being shot by security forces during protests against the military takeover.
Thousands of protesters poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman following the early morning arrests of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior officials by security forces in the country.
Hamdok was moved to an undisclosed location after he refused to issue a statement in support of the coup, said the information ministry.
The chairman of Sudan’s ruling body, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, later announced the dissolution of the transitional government and the sovereign council and declared a nationwide state of emergency.
Sudan has been on edge since a failed coup plot last month unleashed bitter recriminations between military and civilian groups meant to be sharing power following the toppling of the country’s longtime leader Omar al-Bashir two years ago.
The coup also comes just weeks before the military was supposed to hand the leadership of the council that runs the country over to civilians.
Here were the updates on Monday:
Sudan info ministry says the military’s actions are a crime
Sudan’s information ministry said that the transitional constitution gives only the prime minister the right to declare a state of emergency and that the military’s actions are a crime.
The ministry added, on its Facebook page, that the government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is still the legitimate transitional authority.
The ministry also said the government welcomed the positions taken by the United Nations Secretary-General, the African Union, and the Arab League, lauding what it described as their rejection of a military coup.
What next for Sudan after the coup?
Expectations of a transition to democracy have been thrown into uncertainty after Sudan’s military seized power.
After months of building tensions between Sudan’s military and civilian factions, the armed forces have seized power in a coup.
Sudan’s army declared a state of emergency, dissolved the governing council and arrested many political leaders, with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok among them.
US was not given ‘heads up’ about military takeover
The United States Department of State has denied having prior knowledge about the military takeover in Sudan, which came days after US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman met with Sudanese military and civilian leaders.
“To be clear, we were not given any heads-up about this,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. “Clearly an action like this is something that the United States would, and now does, oppose.”
Price said Feltman’s meetings with Sudanese officials were part of his regular trips to the region.
US pauses aid to Sudan, urges ‘immediate’ gov’t restoration
The United States suspended aid to Sudan after a military takeover and urged the immediate restoration of a civilian government.
“The civilian-led transitional government should be immediately restored and represents the will of the people,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“In light of these developments, the United States is pausing assistance” meant for economic support, he said.
Price warned that the recent developments will affect bilateral ties between Khartoum and Washington.
The United States had allocated $700m in emergency assistance appropriations intended to support the country’s democratic transition.
Top US senator condemns ‘coup attempt’
Mark Warner, a top Democrat who chairs the US Senate Intelligence Committee, has condemned the military takeover in Sudan, describing it as a “coup attempt”.
Warner joined a growing list of Congress members calling for the restoration of the government in Sudan.
“The takeover of Sudan’s transitional government by the military and arrest of senior gov’t officials violates constitutional rule & the democratic aims of the people of Sudan,” Warner wrote on Twitter.
“I condemn this coup attempt, and join bipartisan calls for immediate restoration of civilian government.”
The takeover of Sudan’s transitional government by the military and arrest of senior gov’t officials violates constitutional rule & the democratic aims of the people of Sudan. I condemn this coup attempt, and join bipartisan calls for immediate restoration of civilian government.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) October 25, 2021
Communication systems down
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet pointed out reports that the internet is down in the country and other means of communication are suspended.
“Blanket internet shutdowns contravene international law, and internet and mobile services must be restored, as they are essential for people to seek and receive information, particularly in these unsettling circumstances,” she explained.
She asked military and security forces to refrain from unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, to respect people’s freedom of expression, and to honour the right of peaceful assembly.
According to Bachelet, “It would be disastrous if Sudan goes backwards after finally bringing an end to decades of repressive dictatorship.”
Sudan’s central bank employees on strike to reject military takeover
Sudan’s central bank employees said they went on an immediate strike in rejection of the military coup after Sudan’s military seized power from the transitional government, the Sudanese information ministry wrote on its page on Facebook.
Military takeover to have long-lasting effect on US relations
The Sudanese military’s takeover of the transitional government will have lasting consequences on relations with the United States and it should reverse course immediately, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez said.
“The Sudanese military’s takeover of the state apparatus is completely unacceptable and will have long-lasting consequences with respect to US- Sudanese relations,” said Menendez, who called for the immediate release of government officials.
Three shot dead in protests at military takeover, says doctor’s committee
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said three people had died of gunshot wounds after being shot by military forces during protests against a military takeover.
The doctors union wrote on its Facebook page that at least 80 people were injured.
Reports show at least three protesters killed, says activist group
Speaking from Khartoum, Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan said that an activist group has reported several deaths.
“People took the streets to express their anger [at the latest developments]. Several people have been injured as a result of the gunshots fired at protesters in front of the military headquarters.”
“An activist group reported that at least three people have been killed,” added Morgan.
Protesters and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) have been demanding a civilian government, expressing their rejection of military rule, and calling for civil disobedience until that is achieved, said Morgan.
AU ‘dismayed’ over situation in Sudan
African Union Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed “deep dismay” over the volatile political situation in Sudan.
In a statement posted on the commission’s Twitter account, Mahamat said he was alarmed at the developments that led to the arrest of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and other civilian officials.
Mahamat called for the immediate resumption of consultations between the civilian and military wings of the transitional government.
‘Very grim moments’, says activist
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Hala al-Karib, a Sudanese activist for women’s rights in the Horn of Africa, said that Sudan was going through “very grim moments in its history” as it stands at “a crossroads”.
She called on the international community to pressure the military to respect the constitution and agreements with the civilian council.
“The military has dishonoured its agreement with the civilian government by detaining the prime minister and several cabinet ministers,” said al-Karib. “The Sudanese people don’t know if they are safe or not.”
White House ‘deeply alarmed’ by developments in Sudan
The US government is “deeply alarmed” by reports of a military takeover in Sudan, which is contrary to the will of the country’s people, the White House said.
“We reject the actions by the military and call for the immediate release of the prime minister and others who have been placed under house arrest,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.
UK condemns Sudan military coup as unacceptable betrayal
The United Kingdom said the military coup in Sudan was an unacceptable betrayal of the Sudanese people and called on security forces there to release the country’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
“Today’s military coup in Sudan is an unacceptable betrayal of the Sudanese people and their democratic transition. Security forces must release PM Hamdok and other civilian leaders, and those who do not respect right to protest without fear of violence will be held to account,” Britain’s Africa minister Vicky Ford said on Twitter.
Today’s military coup in Sudan is an unacceptable betrayal of the Sudanese people and their democratic transition. Security forces must release PM Hamdok and other civilian leaders, and those who do not respect right to protest without fear of violence will be held to account.
— Vicky Ford MP (@vickyford) October 25, 2021
‘Devastated’ by coup, says Sudan activist
Speaking from Washington DC, Jalelah Ahmed, a Sudanese activist, told Al Jazeera that the Sudanese diaspora has been on alert since last night.
She said that her cousin in Khartoum had been terrified at the developments and that she was heartbroken with what had unfolded overnight.
“We are utterly devastated this morning,” said Ahmed. “We are heartbroken to see [the military] has decided to proceed in that fashion.”
“There was no reason to dissolve the transitional council which was tasked with overseeing the [implementation] of the Constitution and to protecting the Sudanese people and democracy,” she added.
Sudanese opposition coalition calls for civil disobedience
Sudan’s main opposition coalition called for civil disobedience and protests across the country after the military dissolved the transitional government, the information ministry said.
The Forces of Freedom and Change alliance demanded that the transitional military council step down and transfer power back to the civilian government.
It also called for the release of all detained members of the cabinet and the sovereign council, a ruling body that had shared power between the military and civilians until it was dissolved by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Monday, the ministry said on Facebook.
EU condemns the military’s actions
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that the right of peaceful protest must be respected, and violence and bloodshed avoided at all costs in Sudan.
“The actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development,” he said.
“We call on the security forces to immediately release those they have unlawfully detained,” Borrell said.
UN chief calls for immediate release of Sudan’s officials
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the immediate release of Sudan’s prime minister and all other officials after the Sudan military seized power in the nation.
“I condemn the ongoing military coup in Sudan. Prime Minister Hamdok & all other officials must be released immediately. There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to stand with the people of Sudan,” Guterres wrote on Twitter.
I condemn the ongoing military coup in Sudan. Prime Minister Hamdok & all other officials must be released immediately. There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to stand with the people of Sudan.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 25, 2021
‘A lot of trouble’ expected in Sudan: Correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Vall, who has reported extensively on Sudan, said it was unlikely for the young people who are in the streets of Khartoum to stop their resistance following the announcement of the state of emergency that entails curfews.
“We can expect troubles ahead. They are not going to go back home easily,” he said.
“The civilians in the streets of Khartoum at the moment are armed to their teeth. We know that the armed factions that came from the fringes during the last three years came with their weapons. Nobody checked and because they are in power.”
“To return to dialogue again will take a long time. And there will be a lot of trouble before it begins again.”
‘Utterly unacceptable’: World reacts to Sudan arrests
World leaders and human rights groups have condemned the detention of several high-ranking Sudanese officials in what appears to be a coup attempt, as a senior military official dissolved the government.
Read more here.
Sudan’s military ruler declares national state of emergency
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military officer who heads a power-sharing ruling council, announced a state of emergency across the country and the dissolution of the transitional sovereign council and the government.
He said the 2019 agreement on the transitional government which the civilian and military leadership had shared had turned into a struggle that was threatening peace and security.
The military needed to protect the country’s safety and security as stated in the constitutional declaration, he said, announcing the dissolution of the power-sharing ruling council and the government.
He also announced the removal of state governors, saying the elections will be held in July 2023.
Office of Sudan’s prime minister urges protesters to take to streets
The office of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok called on protesters to take to the streets after security forces detained senior civilian leaders in the transitional government.
“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.
Civilian council member calls coup ‘political foolishness’
Sudanese civilian sovereign council member Mohammed Hassan Eltaishi said on his official Facebook page that Monday’s apparent military coup was “political foolishness” and that he would resist it “until the last drop of blood”.
At least 12 injured in anti-military protests in Khartoum
Sudanese Doctors Committee has said on Facebook that at least 12 people were injured in Khartoum during the demonstrations against the attempted military coup, without providing further details.
Sudan’s information ministry said that the protesters were being shot at near the military’s headquarters in Khartoum.
It had said earlier on its official Facebook page that tens of thousands of protesters had taken to the streets. heeding calls by the country’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to reject the coup.
Germany calls for ‘immediate end’ to Sudan coup attempt
Germany has condemned a coup attempt in Sudan and called for an “immediate end” to the action.
“The news of a new coup attempt in Sudan is troubling,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.
“I call on everyone in Sudan responsible for security and order to continue Sudan’s transition to democracy and to respect the will of the people. The attempted overthrow must come to an immediate end.”
Justification for Sudan coup ‘mind-boggling’: Analyst
Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara has said the military leadership’s justification for the coup is “mind-boggling”.
“They think that the arrangement of the past two years was simply an arrangement between the military who are entrusted with Sudan and some technocrats who are running the day-to-day government or governing under their leadership, the military leadership and that this arrangement is no longer working for the good of the people of Sudan,” he said.
“So the idea that Sudan has gone through major popular upheaval and brought about civilian government after 30 years of military dictatorship does not exist for the Sudanese generals.”
Arab League expresses ‘deep concern’ over Sudan
The Arab League has released a statement of “deep concern” about the apparent military coup in Sudan.
The Secretary-General of the 22-member bloc, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, urged all parties to “fully abide” by the constitutional declaration signed in August 2019, which had aimed to pave the way for a transition to civilian rule and democratic elections.
“There are no problems that cannot be resolved without dialogue,” Aboul Gheit said. “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.”
UN says detention of Sudan civilian leaders ‘unacceptable’
The United Nations has said that Sudanese security forces’ detention of civilian leaders including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was “unacceptable”.
“I am deeply concerned about reports of an ongoing coup and attempts to undermine Sudan’s political transition. The reported detentions of the Prime Minister, government officials, and politicians are unacceptable,” said Volker Perthes, the UN special representative to Sudan.
“I call on the security forces to immediately release those who have been unlawfully detained or placed under house arrest,” he said on Twitter.
Sudanese ex-rebel leader Yasir Arman arrested
The Deputy Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Yasir Arman, was arrested from his home, according to his Twitter.
Arman was an adviser to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after his armed group signed a peace deal in 2020 with transitional authorities and promised to integrate with the army.
EU voices ‘grave’ concern over Sudan upheaval
The European Union has expressed grave concern about a possible military takeover under way in Sudan.
EU Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Twitter that he is 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.
Following with utmost concern ongoing events in #Sudan.
The EU calls on all stakeholders and regional partners to put back on track the transition process.
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) October 25, 2021
Soldiers storm Sudan state broadcaster’s headquarters: Ministry
Soldiers have stormed the headquarters of Sudan’s state broadcaster and detained some employees, the information ministry says, as part of what it has called a “coup”.
“Joint military forces have stormed the TV and radio headquarters in Omdurman and detained a number of staff,” the ministry said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Sudan’s information ministry urges military to free detainees
Sudan is facing a full military coup, the information ministry has said, urging the immediate release of all detainees.
The Sudanese people should try to stop the military’s efforts to block democratic transition, it added in a statement to the Reuters news agency.
“We invite everyone to continue the march until the coup attempt is brought down,” it said.
Army blocks roads, restricts telecommunications
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said “telecommunications access has been restricted” in the country “so it’s very hard to communicate with people here”.
“The military has also blocked all roads and bridges leading into Khartoum city. We’ve seen soldiers blocking access and they are telling us these are the orders they got,” she said.
“They are saying access to Khartoum city is to be restricted, and this is raising concern because that’s where the government institutions are, that’s where the presidential palace and the prime minister’s offices are located.”
Hamdok being held in unknown location
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was moved to an unknown location after refusing to issue a statement in support of a continuing military coup, the information ministry said.
Joint military forces holding Hamdok under house arrest were pressuring him to issue a supportive statement, the information ministry said earlier on Monday.
It cited Hamdok calling on the Sudanese people to resist the coup attempt peacefully and “defend their revolution”.
US expresses alarm at reports of military takeover
The United States said it was “deeply alarmed” at reports of a military takeover in Sudan.
“The US is deeply alarmed at reports of a military takeover of the transitional government,” said US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman.
“This would contravene the Constitutional Declaration (which outlines the transition) and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people,” he said, according to a statement on Twitter.