Soldiers arrested most of the members of Sudan’s cabinet on Monday and the military chief dissolved the transitional government, while opponents of the takeover took to the streets where gunfire and injuries were reported.Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, a general who headed the Sovereign Council, a ruling body that had shared power between the military and civilians, announced a state of emergency. The military needed to protect the country’s safety and security, he said, and the council had been dissolved.

“We guarantee the armed forces’ commitment to completing the democratic transition until we hand over to a civilian elected government,” he added, 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 to build a nation whose features are starting to emerge.”

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

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

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

In Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman, young protesters barricaded streets and chanted in support of civilian rule, though blockages of phone and internet networks appeared to limit their ability to coordinate large gatherings.

“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.

Sudan had been on edge since a failed coup plot last month unleashed recriminations between military and civilian groups sharing power uneasily following the toppling of long-serving ruler Omar al-Bashir two years ago. read more

Since Bashir was brought down by street protests, the political transition had seen Sudan emerge from international isolation under his nearly three-decade rule.

The director of Hamdok’s office, Adam Hereika, told Reuters that the military had mounted the takeover despite “positive movements” towards an agreement with Hamdok following meetings with a visiting U.S. special envoy, Jeffrey Feltman.

Joint forces from the military and from the powerful, paramilitary Rapid Support Forces were stationed in the streets of Khartoum.

‘RAISE OUR VOICES’

The information ministry said military forces had arrested civilian members of the Sovereign Council and members of the government. In a statement sent to Reuters, it called on Sudanese “to block the military’s movements to block the democratic transition”.

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

The military was meant to pass leadership of the joint Sovereign Council to a civilian figure in the coming months. But transitional authorities had struggled to move forward on issues including whether to hand Bashir over to the International Criminal Court, where he is wanted for war crimes.

In recent weeks, civilian officials had claimed credit for some tentative signs of economic stabilisation after a sharp devaluation of the currency and the lifting of fuel subsidies.

Burhan said it was incumbent on the armed forces to sense the danger and act after infighting between some political forces and “the striving for power” and “incitement to chaos and violence”.

Feltman, the U.S. special envoy who had been visiting Sudan on Saturday and Sunday, tweeted that a military takeover would put U.S. aid at risk. The U.S. embassy urged people disrupting the transition to democracy to stand down and let the civilian-led government continue its work. Read More

By Ian Dei

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