Sudan’s toppled PM taken back home, military sources say

General al-Burhan has defended the military’s seizure of power, saying he dissolved the gov’t to avoid civil war.

Sudanese security forces are deployed during a protest a day after the military seized power, Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, October 26, 2021 [Marwan Ali/AP Photo]

Sudan’s toppled Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has been taken back to his own home in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, military sources told Al Jazeera.

Coup leader and army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had said earlier that he was keeping Hamdok at his residence “for his own safety”.

On Tuesday, in his first news conference since the takeover, al-Burhan defended the military’s seizure of power saying he had dissolved the government to avoid civil war. He said the army had no choice but to sideline politicians who were inciting against the armed forces.

Meanwhile, defiant anti-coup protesters have continued to barricade roads in Khartoum, returning to the streets for a second consecutive day despite the security forces’ use of violence the day before.

Al-Burhan announced on Monday a state of emergency across the country while dissolving the country’s transitional authorities. Hours earlier, tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters began pouring onto the streets as news spread that soldiers had arrested several government officials, including Hamdok.

Sources at the Health Ministry told Al Jazeera that seven people were killed on Monday. The military also cut off access to the internet and closed some roads, bridges and the airport in Khartoum.

The coup drew widespread international condemnation and demands for the release of everyone detained.

Here were the updates on Tuesday:


Military must protect rights of all citizens: Rights group

The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called Sudan’s military rulers to respect and protect the rights of citizens, including the right to protest.

“Military leaders … should refrain from unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, immediately free political leaders and others arbitrarily detained, and restore communications,” the group said in a statement.


Tear gas fired at Sudan protesters: AFP

Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at anti-army protesters, witnesses said, according to the AFP news agency.

In a late Tuesday incident, witnesses in the Bari district of Khartoum said security forces fired tear gas at protesters blocking a main road in opposition to the military takeover.


Video shows security firing at protesters in Sudan

A video posted on social media appears to show Sudanese security forces opening fire on protesters on the road leading to Khartoum airport, The Associated Press news agency reported.

The video was filmed on Monday with a mobile phone from the top of a building overlooking a protest and posted onto Facebook.


UN members express ‘grave concern’ over takeover: AJ correspondent

Reactions from member states at the United Nations has ranged from expressions of “grave concern to outright condemnation”, Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reported from New York.

“Concern came from China and Russia, with more strong words coming from the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway, which are the pen holders, so to speak on Sudan in the Security Council,” she added.

“Russia’s ambassador … stopped short of calling the situation there a coup. And some of these differences, of course, in language can have an effect but I think it’s safe to say that the UN is very concerned.”

A protester is given medical treatment following mass demonstrations a day after the military seized power [AP]

Sudan’s toppled PM returned to his own residence: Military sources

Military sources have told Al Jazeera that toppled Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has been escorted back to his own home in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

“It’s not clear how much freedom he has and if he will be allowed to speak to the media or make contact with anyone at all in the coming days,” said Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum.

The news comes hours after coup leader and army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had said he was keeping Hamdok at his residence “for his own safety”.


US State Dept says US is pressing for the release of Sudanese PM, others

The United States is pressing for the release of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilian leaders, Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said.

Sudan’s armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan earlier said that Hamdok, who was arrested on Monday along with other members of his Cabinet, had not been harmed and had been brought to Burhan’s own home.

US Department of State spokesman Ned Price [File: Kevin Lamarque/Pool/Reuters]

Sudan unrest complicating UN aid delivery

The spokesperson for the UN secretary-general said tensions in Sudan following the military takeover were creating hurdles for aid delivery in the country.

“You know, we have operations throughout Sudan. We’ve also had issues with some goods being not flowing through Port Sudan as they as they should be. Obviously, as it is in any case, unrest, military unrest makes it that much more complicated for us to deliver the aid that we need to deliver to those who need it the most.”


Calls for civil disobedience continue in Sudan: AJ correspondent

The opposition coalition Forces of Freedom and Change is calling for civil disobedience against the military takeover despite violence from security forces, Al Jazeera’s correspondent Hiba Morgan reported from Khartoum.

“They’ve called for protests at neighbourhoods and on the street saying that people should set up barricades,” she added.

“We’re seeing people in the streets, others saying that they’re going to follow this instruction issued by the Force of Freedom and Change coalition and by the Office of the Prime Minister.”

People set up a barricade during a protest a day after the military seized power, Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, October 26, 2021 [Marwan Ali/AP Photo]

EU threatens to suspend Sudan financial support over coup

The European Union threatened to suspend financial support for Sudan if the military does not immediately return the civilian government to power.

“This attempt to undermine Sudan’s transition to democracy is unacceptable. If the situation is not reversed immediately, there will be serious consequences for the EU’s commitment, including its financial support,” EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell warned in a statement.


Fate of detained officials a ‘concern’: Analyst

Sudanese army chief al-Burhan is out to “take revenge” for those officials who stood up to him in the weeks leading to the military takeover, Sudanese analyst Suliman Baldo told Al Jazeera.

“When these people were detained, they were given ill-treatment, and there are reports of them being subjected to even worse in detention. Therefore, their fate is should be a concern, and the security and army should be held accountable for what happens to these officials,” he said via Skype from New York.

People burn tires during a protest a day after the military seized power, Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, October 26, 2021 [Marwan Ali/AP Photo]

Aviation authority suspends flights until October 30

Sudan’s civil aviation authority on Tuesday suspended all flights to and from Khartoum International Airport until October 30, the airport said on its Facebook page.


US coordinating with regional leaders on Sudan: Biden aide

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said that the Biden administration is coordinating its response to the military takeover in Sudan with other countries in the region.

“We’ve been in close contact with regional leaders, including in the Gulf, to make sure that we’re closely coordinating and sending a clear message to the military in Sudan that they should first and foremost cease any violence against innocent civilians, so that they should release those who have been detained and they should get back on a democratic path,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan reiterated Washington’s rejection of the takeover, saying that the US administration is looking to use “economic tools” to counter what he called an “alarming setback” to the political process in Sudan.

“We’ve already made clear that we are pressing pause on significant aspects of our economic assistance to Sudan,” he said. “And we will look at the full range of economic tools available to us – in coordination and consultation with regional actors and other key countries – to make sure that we are trying to push … the entire Sudanese political process back in a positive direction.”


UN chief says Sudan PM detained in coup must be released ‘immediately’

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for Sudan’s prime minister and other officials to be released “immediately” and called for “maximum restraint” by the military.

Speaking at a news conference, Guterres said “geopolitical divides” were preventing the Security Council from taking strong measures as countries around the world grapple with the pandemic and social and economic problems.


‘Extraordinary gamble’ by military to intervene: analyst

It is an extraordinary gamble by General al-Burhan to go against what the “unanimous clear opinion” from the international community that the constitutional declaration of 2019 of power-sharing and the transition to democracy should be followed, Alex De Waal of the World Peace foundation told Al Jazeera.

“It would appear he’s (al-Burhan) is just digging himself deeper into a hole,” Waal said, speaking from Edinburgh, UK.

“He’s (al-Burhan) already facing a suspension of US assistance. One suspects that the debt relief that has been painstakingly negotiated by the civilian government will now be put on hold. One suspects the armed groups that have not signed peace agreements, which are the most powerful ones in Darfur … will not sign any agreement.”

 


‘Major setback’ in US, Sudan relationship: AJ correspondent

The Biden administration is now completely reevaluating its relationship with Sudan, Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reported from Washington, DC, adding that the relationship had been warming up in recent months.

“Only last year, the US removed Sudan from its list of terror entities. There was an improvement in the relationship between the two countries. But this is now a major setback in terms of the relationship between the US and Sudan,” Hanna added.

Sudanese demonstrators lift national flags and burn tyres on a street in the capital Khartoum, on October 26, 2021, as they protest a military coup that overthrew the transition to civilian rule [AFP]

Foreign minister condemns ‘military coup’ in Sudan

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam al-Sadiq sent messages to her counterparts around the world condemning the “military coup” in her country and the detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and ministers in the transitional civilian government.

In her message, al-Sadiq vowed “to resist the military coup in Sudan with all peaceful means”, the foreign ministry said in a statement.


Al-Burhan says Hamdok is safe at his house, intervened to avoid civil war

In a televised news conference, al-Burhan said Hamdok is safe at his own house as “we feared for his own life”.

During the speech, the army general said that by the end of the week justice bodies and the legislative council will be formed. The latter will be composed of young people not affiliated with any party. He also said that internet and mobile networks will be restored in the coming hours.

He stressed that the military will “go back to the barracks” once the transition to a civilian government is completed.

He said that the infighting between political factions and the incitement against the military forces could have led the country into a civil war.

Abdalla HamdokSudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok [Courtesy: Flicker]

Three ambassadors defect: ministry

Three ambassadors in Europe announced they supported the pro-civilian demonstrators, condemning the military coup in their country and declaring their embassies as belonging to the “Sudanese people”, the information ministry said.

“We completely align ourselves with the heroic opposition [to the coup] followed by the entire world,” the envoys to France, Belgium and Switzerland said, declaring their missions as “embassies of the Sudanese people and their revolution”.


In pictures: protesters back to the streets

A Sudanese demonstrator carrying a national flag walks by roadblocks set up by protesters on a street in the capital Khartoum [AFP]

 

Sudanese protesters chant during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, a day after Sudan’s military launched a coup attempt and arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior ministers [EPA-EFE]

 

Hundreds of protesters returned to the streets in a sign of civilian disobedience despite the violent response by security forces on Monday when at least seven people died [EPA-EFE]

Hamdok and missing cabinet members’ whereabouts still unknown

In a post on its official Facebook account, the Ministry of Information reported a message from the deposed Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying that Hamdok and his missing cabinet members are still being held in an “unknown location”.

The information ministry is one of the few government bodies still commenting on the situation on the ground.


Russia calls for restraint

Russia is concerned with the situation in Sudan and urges all parties to exercise restraint, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“The people of Sudan must resolve the situation in the country on their own and we wish for this to happen as quickly as possible and without any loss of human lives,” Peskov told a briefing.


Sudan to be run by a technocratic government

In a television statement, al-Burhan pledged that Sudan will be led by a technocratic government.

“The affairs of the country will be run by an independent technocrat government where people of Sudan from all walks of life will be represented,” the general said.

Commenting on the army chief’s remarks, including a pledge to hold elections in July 2023, Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan in Khartoum said the general appeared to want to reassure the public that the military will not retain power for long.

“It looks like he wants to show this is a temporary government and not something without deadline,” Morgan said.


Which constitutional articles have been suspended?

Al-Burhan said the military will continue the process towards democracy and elections in 2023, but he also announced the suspension of several articles related to the constitutional document governing the transitional period.

Here is a look at those articles and the potential significance of such a move.


Setting barricades in Khartoum’s centre

Images on social media posted by the Sudanese Professionals Association show Juba street in Khartoum, with car tyres burning and people up setting barricades.

Translation: The Sudanese people reject and resist the military coup. Closing the main streets with barricades and calling for nationwide civilian disobedience. October 26, 2021


Army dissolves trade unions’ management committees

Al-Burhan decided to dissolve the committees managing the country’s trade unions.

“We have to remember … when the transitional government took over, they dissolved the unions in existence and placed interim unions to basically dismantle and take away elements of the former regime as they said they were highly politicised,” Al Jazeera’s Morgan said. “Now, those interim unions have been dissolved as well,” she added.


Army general to hold news conference: officials

Al-Burhan will hold a news conference later on Tuesday at the general command of the military where he will address senior military officials on the latest development.

“General Burhan will speak at a press conference at the army headquarters in Khartoum” from 1pm (11:00 GMT), officials from his office said.

The general is expected to lay out what the new transitional government that is supposed to take charge of the country until elections in July 2023 is going to look like.


What is next for Sudan after the coup?


Miners answer call for civilian disobedience

Workers at the mining DAL company joined the opposition’s nationwide call for civilian disobedience against the military power grab, the Sudanese Congress Party said on social media.

Translation: Photos show Dal Mining Company employees responding to a nationwide call for civil disobedience to reject the military coup in Sudan


Calls for civilian disobedience as barricades set

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said there have been calls for civilian disobedience and a general strike to protest against the military takeover.

“We have seen protesters setting barricades on various streets around Khartoum to prevent the military from entering neighbourhoods,” she said.

“For these protesters, the barricades, which were set up even before al-Burhan’s announcement on Monday, are a sign of resistance that they want a civilian-led transitional government to lead them to elections,” Morgan added. “But now that they have a military leadership, and they don’t want that.”


Protesters return to the streets

Pro-democracy protesters returned to the streets to demonstrate against the military coup.

“Returning to the past is not an option,” chanted the crowds.


Telecommunications interrupted

All telecommunications were interrupted in Sudan, the Saudi-owned Dubai-based al-Hadath television channel said. There was no official confirmation of the communications blackout.


US ‘firmly rejects’ army actions, suspends $700m in aid

The United States government “strongly condemns the actions” of the Sudanese armed forces and it “firmly reject the dissolution of the transitional cabinet”, it said in a statement.

It also denounced the “unacceptable” arrest of Hamdok and other senior officials, calling for their immediate release.

“These actions have the potential to derail the country’s transition to democracy and are a betrayal of Sudan’s peaceful revolution,” read the statement.

“In light of these developments, the United States is immediately pausing the delivery of $700 million in emergency Economic Support Funds to Sudan, which were intended to support the country’s democratic transition, while we evaluate next steps.”

Here you can find Monday’s updates. 

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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