Sudan’s top General Lt. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has declared a state of emergency and dissolved the joint civilian-military council that has run the country for the past two years.
Al-Buran spoke at a news conference Monday after military forces arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials of the ruling Sovereign Council in an apparent military coup.
“The armed forces needed to protect safety and security. We will revise everything and take decisions towards everything. We urge everyone to abide by the agreement of Juba 2020. We must work hard to reach lasting solutions for our people” Gen Fattah said in Arabic.
Sudan’s information ministry, which continued to publish statements online, reported that Hamdok was arrested for refusing to support a coup.
Protests broke out in Khartoum Monday following reports of Hamdok’s arrest. Reports from the capital of Khartoum show that thousands of people, most of them young adults, are on the streets and marching toward the center of the city. Gunfire and burning of tires in the streets have also been reported.
Most telecommunications in Khartoum have shut down, including the internet and radio stations. Only a state-owned television station was on the air, broadcasting patriotic music.
Hamdok, an economist and diplomat who has worked for the U.N., was named the country’s transitional prime minister in August 2019. He leads an interim government that took power following the ouster of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir who was arrested during widespread street protests.
The country is preparing for elections late next year and, under the constitution, Hamdok is forbidden from running. But Hamdok has faced stiff resistance from elements of the country’s military.
General Al-Bruhan however stated that elections will go on as scheduled.
On September 21, forces loyal to al-Bashir used tanks to block a key bridge and attempted to seize power in an attempted coup. The coup was neutralized and dozens of soldiers were arrested.
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 which led to the arrest of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and other civilian officials.
Mahamat called on the immediate resumption of consultations between the civilian and military wings of the transitional government.