https://apnews.com-By SAMY MAGDY
CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s ruling general said Tuesday that the prime minister he deposed in a coup was being held for his own safety and would likely be released soon. But he warned that other members of the dissolved government could face trial as protests against the putsch continued in the streets.
A day after the military seized power in a move widely denounced by the international community, pro-democracy demonstrators blocked roads in the capital with makeshift barricades and burning tires. Troops fired on crowds a day earlier, killing four protesters, according to doctors.
The takeover came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and the pace of Sudan’s transition to democracy. It threatened to derail that process, which has progressed in fits and starts since the overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago.
The United Nations Security Council was to discuss the situation in Sudan, a nation in Africa linked by language and culture to the Arab world, at a closed-door meeting later Tuesday. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged world powers to come together to act decisively at the council, saying such unity was needed to confront an “epidemic of coups d’état” recently.
In his second public appearance since seizing power, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan said Tuesday that the military was forced to step in to resolve a growing political crisis that he alleged could have led to civil war. But the coup came less than a month before Burhan was supposed to hand the leadership of the Sovereign Council that runs the country to a civilian — a step that would have decreased the military’s hold on power.
“The whole country was deadlocked due to political rivalries,” Burhan told a televised news conference. “The experience during the past two years has proven that the participation of political forces in the transitional period is flawed and stirs up strife.”
Of the slew of senior government officials detained in Monday’s coup, some tried to incite a rebellion within the armed forces, Burhan alleged, saying they would face trial. Others who are found “innocent” would be freed, he said.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was being held at Burhan’s home, the general said, and was in good health. He added that the politician would be released “today or tomorrow.”
But shortly after Burhan spoke, Hamdok’s office issued a statement, voicing concerns about the safety of the premier and other detained officials. It did not say where the politician was being held.
The statement accused the military leaders of acting in concert with Islamists, who have argued for a military government, and other politicians linked to the now-dissolved National Congress Party, which dominated Sudan during al-Bashir’s Islamist-backed rule.
Western governments and the U.N. have condemned the coup and called for the release of Hamdok and other senior officials. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration announced the suspension of $700 million in emergency assistance to Sudan and said Tuesday it was looking at sending stronger signals to the generals.