SUDAN: After Weeks of Rising Tensions Between Civilian and Military Leaders Following a Failed Coup Attempt in September, General Burhan Dissolves Government and Declares Emergency in Apparent Military Coup

    Analysis by Sky Africa Correspondent John Sparks

    The military coup in Sudan began in the early morning hours when soldiers turned up at the homes of members of the country’s transitional cabinet and arrested them.
    Amongst those detained include Sudan’s information minister, Hamza Baloul, the Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh and the governor of the region of Khartoum, Ayman Khalid.
    Most noteworthy however, is the arrest of the civilian Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok and his wife, who were taken to an undisclosed location after they refused to endorse the military’s action.
    Hamdok, along with the main opposition coalition, the ‘Forces of Freedom and Change’ have called for a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience to challenge the actions of the military’s leader – and country’s current president - General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
    We managed to speak to the Sudanese foreign minister, Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, who spoke to us from her home in north Khartoum. She told us she could not contact other members of the civilian administration – her phone only worked when people call her from abroad – and said that she was unable to travel around the capital with the military in control of key junctions and bridges over the Nile.
    I asked her whether she felt betrayed by what General al-Burhan had done.
    “Absolutely, absolutely, this is total betrayal, he have met with him last Tuesday and he committed himself that there would be no coup and he committed himself to fully referring to the constitution document."
    I asked: "You say he has broken his word?"
    “Absolutely he did break his word that he given to us last Tuesday and he has unilaterally revoked his commitment to the papers that describe the whole provisional period.”
    I then asked: "Did you fear arrest yourself?"
    "I don’t fear, I don’t fear, actually I wonder some of us are not included because we are all partisan leaders and we defy (the military) and we don’t recognise them as constitutional."
    Foreign Minister al-Mahdi and her colleagues have struggled to fix Sudan’s dysfunctional economy and major splits have developed in their civilian coalition in recent months. But mass protests on the streets of Khartoum today suggest members of the public are willing to fight for Sudan’s democratic future

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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