Several ministers of Sudan’s interim government have been detained by the military, and PM Abdalla Hamdok is under house arrest, reports claim. It comes amid rallies by pro-military protesters and supporters of civilian rule.
With tensions between supporters of the military and interim government flaring up in the past several days, Al-Hadath TV reported that four ministers and one high-ranking civilian official were arrested early on Monday. The prime minister himself has reportedly been placed under house arrest.
Reuters reported, citing “family sources,” that the military also arrested Hamdok’s adviser during a raid on his home.
The officials detained by the military reportedly include Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Baloul, as well as Hamdok’s media adviser, Mohammed Saleh, and Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, a member of the Sovereignty Council, AP reported, citing unnamed officials.
A photo has emerged purportedly showing the moment al-Sheikh was arrested.
The reportedly moment of arrest of #Sudan’s minister of industry and trade Ibrahim El Sheikh السودان# pic.twitter.com/3B7CgXJMz7
There have also been reports of wide-ranging internet and telephone service outages in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.
⚠️ Confirmed: Internet disrupted in #Sudan amid reports of military coup and detention of Prime Minister; real-time network data show national connectivity at 34% of ordinary levels; incident ongoing 📉📰 Live Report: https://t.co/uVVZKchH5Spic.twitter.com/SoyZK2uYQ9
The Sudanese Professionals Association, the group which spearheaded the protests for civilian rule last year, urged supporters to take to the streets to show “fierce resistance” to what they described as a “brutal military coup.”
“We appeal to the masses to go out to the streets and occupy them, to block all roads with barricades, to go on a general strike, not to cooperate with the putschists, and confront them with civil disobedience,” the group said in a statement on Facebook.
Shortly after first reports of an apparent military takeover emerged, demonstrators were seen flocking to the streets of Khartoum. Photos and videos have emerged showing protesters burning tires in the streets.
הפגנות ברחובות חרטום בעקבות עצירת שרי ממשלה וראש הממשלה בסודן 📍 👇#Sudan#Khartoum#السودانpic.twitter.com/JfDHuksQc1
#Sudan 🇸🇩: more images are coming in of anti-coup protests, mainly in and around #Khartoum.There are likely many more protests like these ones going on around the country. The #InternetShutDown is preventing a lot of information from coming out. #SudanCoup. pic.twitter.com/KYGTa5E12g
Tensions between proponents of civilian rule and pro-military protesters were nearing boiling point in the build-up to the events. On Sunday, pro-military protesters set up barricades in a bid to block roads and bridges in the city. Police used tear gas, eventually forcing them to retreat. The day before, pro-military protesters attempted to take over the offices of Sudan’s state-run news agency.
Sudan is being governed by the Sovereignty Council, comprising both military and civilian factions, while Hamdok is responsible for day-to-day management as the head of the civilian cabinet. The council is currently led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, but the military pledged to hand over the post to a civilian leader, though no date was specified for the transition.
Pro-military protesters argue that the civilian government is unfit to fix Sudan’s long-standing issues, such as rampant corruption, insisting that military rule should be established.
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