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Gunfire, Protests As Sudan’s Military Seizes Power In Coup


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Sudan’s military seized power in a coup on Monday, while youths opposed to the takeover barricaded streets and gunfire was heard as demonstrators clashed with the security forces.

The military dissolved a transitional government that had been set up to guide the country to democracy following the overthrow of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the Sovereign Council under which the military had shared power with civilians, announced a state of emergency, saying the armed forces needed to protect safety and security.

“We guarantee the armed forces’ commitment to completing the democratic transition until we hand over to a civilian elected government,” he said, setting elections for July 2023.

“What the country is going through now is a real threat and danger to the dreams of the youth and the hopes of the nation.”

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was detained and taken to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the takeover, said the information ministry, which was still apparently under the control of Hamdok’s supporters.

The ministry called Burhan’s announcement a military coup and urged resistance. It said tens of thousands of people opposed to the takeover had taken to the streets and had faced gunfire near the military headquarters in Khartoum.

At least 12 people were injured in clashes, a doctors’ committee said, without providing further details.

In Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman, protesters barricaded streets and chanted in support of civilian rule.



“We will defend democracy until the end,” said one protester, 21-year-old Iman Ahmed.

“Burhan cannot deceive us. This is a military coup,” said another young man who gave his name as Saleh.

The information ministry said troops had arrested civilian members of the Sovereign Council and government figures. It called on Sudanese to oppose the military attempt “to block the democratic transition”.

“We raise our voices loudly to reject this coup attempt,” it said in a statement.

Sudan has been ruled for most of its post-colonial history by military leaders who seized power in coups. It had become a pariah to the West and was on the U.S. terrorism blacklist under Bashir, who hosted Osama bin Laden in the 1990s and is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for war crimes.

The country had been on edge since last month when a failed coup plot, blamed on Bashir supporters, unleashed recriminations between the military and civilians in the transitional cabinet.

NAN


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