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Sudan military seizes power, arrests premier
CAIRO, Oct 25, (AP): Sudan’s military seized power Monday, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the prime minister. Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country’s shaky progress toward democracy. Security forces opened fire on some of the crowds, and three protesters were killed, according to the Sudan Doctors’ Committee, which said 80 people were wounded. The takeover comes more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and just weeks before the military was supposed to hand the leadership of the council that runs the country over to civilians. The State of Kuwait, meanwhile, said it was following with “great concern” the situation in Sudan, urging all parties to exercise restraint in order to “preserve political and economic gains,” calling on all sides from Sudan’s political spectrum to remain united, said Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry in a statement Monday.
Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry asked its citizens in Sudan to take precaution regarding the situation in that country and follow safety regulations by avoiding crowded areas. In a statement, the ministry asked Kuwaitis to contact the embassy and give their information. It called on those planning to visit Sudan to postpone their traveling plans due to what is happening in there. After the early morning arrests of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior officials, thousands poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman. They blocked streets and set fire to tires as security forces used tear gas to disperse them. As plumes of smoke filled the air, protesters could be heard chanting, “The people are stronger, stronger” and “Retreat is not an option!” Videos on social media showed large crowds crossing bridges over the Nile to the center of the capital, while the U.S. embassy warned troops were blocking off parts of the city.
Pro-democracy activist Dura Gambo said paramilitary forces chased protesters through some neighborhoods of Khartoum. She said the sporadic sound of gunshots could be heard in many parts of the capital. Records from a hospital in Khartoum obtained by The Associated Press showed some people admitted with gunshot wounds. In the afternoon, the head of the military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, announced on national TV that he was dissolving the government and the Sovereign Council, a joint military and civilian body created soon after al-Bashir’s ouster to run the country. Burhan said quarrels among political factions prompted the military to intervene. Tensions have been rising for weeks over the course and the pace of the transition to democracy in Sudan, a nation in Africa linked by language and culture to the Arab world. The general declared a state of emergency and said the military will appoint a technocratic government to lead the country to elections, set for July 2023. But he made clear the military will remain in charge. “The Armed Forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country’s leadership to a civilian, elected government,” he said. He added that the country’s constitution would be rewritten and a legislative body would be formed with the participation of “young men and women who made this revolution.” The Information Ministry, still loyal to the dissolved government, called his speech an “announcement of a seizure of power by military coup.” White House spokesperson Karine Jean- Pierre said the the United States was “deeply alarmed at reports of a military takeover” and called for the immediate release of the prime minister and other officials.