Sudan’s PM Hamdok Under House Arrest, Ministers Detained

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Military forces in Sudan have put Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok under house arrest and arrested several members of the country’s civilian leadership, according to Al-Hadath TV.

The Dubai-based broadcaster said the arrests took place before dawn on Monday.

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Citing unidentified sources, Al Hadath said those taken into custody include Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Baloul, and media adviser to the prime minister, Faisal Mohammed Saleh.

The spokesman for Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, and the governor of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, Ayman Khalid, were also arrested.

The Associated Press said Sudanese officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the news agency confirmed the arrests.

Sudan has been on edge since a failed coup plot last month unleashed bitter recriminations between military and civilian groups meant to be sharing power following the toppling of the country’s long time leader Omar al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir was toppled after months of street protests in 2019, and a political transition agreed after his removal was meant to lead to elections by the end of 2023.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said “telecommunications access has been restricted” in the country “so it’s very hard to communicate with people here”.

“The military has also blocked all roads and bridges leading into Khartoum city. We’ve seen soldiers blocking access and they are telling us these are the orders they got. They are saying access to Khartoum city is to be restricted, and this is raising concern because that’s where the government institutions are, that’s where the presidential palace and the prime minister’s offices are located.”

There was no immediate comment from the military, while Sudanese television broadcasted patriotic songs. Al Hadath said Abel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the Sudan sovereign council, was expected to make a statement on Monday’s developments.

The Sudanese Professional’s Association, the country’s main pro-democratic political group, meanwhile called the military’s moves an apparent military coup and called on the public to take to the streets.

“We urge the masses to go out on the streets and occupy them, close all roads with barricades, stage a general labour strike, and not to cooperate with the putschists and use civil disobedience to confront them,” the group said in a statement.

Last week, tens of thousands of Sudanese marched in several cities to back the full transfer of power to civilians, and to counter a rival days-long sit-in outside the presidential palace in Khartoum demanding a return to “military rule”.

Hamdok has previously described the splits in the transitional government as the “worst and most dangerous crisis” facing the transition.

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