Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tells Sudanese to defend the revolution peacefully as reports of a military coup emerge
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and at least four other ministers in the country’s civilian government have been arrested in their homes as reports of a military coup emerge.
Citing confidential sources, Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Hadath reported that military forces besieged Hamdok’s home early on Monday, before placing him under house arrest.
A statement from the information ministry on Facebook said the detentions were carried out by “joint military forces” and those arrested were being held in “an unidentified location”.
Hamdok called on the Sudanese people to take to the streets to defend their revolution peacefully. The information ministry said Sudan’s prime minister had issued this statement from where he is being held.
The army has not commented. Pro-democracy groups have joined Hamdok in urging people to take to the streets.
The Sudanese Communist Party called for a “political strike and civil disobedience until this coup is defeated”.
Fathi al-Fadhl, the party’s spokesman, did not hesitate to call the ongoing events a “military coup”, saying in an audio message from Khartoum that Hamdok’s home had been surrounded by tanks and that he anticipated a “severe onslaught”, and further arrests.
The army and paramilitary have been deployed across the city, restricting the movement of civilians, Reuters quoted a witness as saying.
Jeffrey Feltman, the US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, said the United States was deeply alarmed by reports of a military takeover.
On the official Twitter account of the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, Feltman warned the military takeover would contravene Sudan’s constitutional declaration and would put US assistance to the country at risk.
Video footage and images captured by eye witnesses in Khartoum showed tyres burning and smoke and fire rising as people gathered on the streets of the capital after hearing reports of the attempted coup.
Internet access in Sudan has been disrupted, with online observatory NetBlocks reporting that national connectivity was at 34 percent of ordinary levels.
Tensions between military and civilian factions in Sudan’s transitional government have got worse in the last month, with Middle East Eye reporting on 19 October of fears of an imminent power grab by the army.
The transitional government was put in place after the ousting of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.