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Sudan’s PM detained at home of coup leader ‘for his own safety’

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Sudan’s PM detained at home of coup leader ‘for his own safety’

Sudan

Sudan’s PM detained at home of coup leader ‘for his own safety’

Abdalla Hamdok and other ministers have not been seen since Abdel Fattah al-Burhan took power in bloody coup

Abdalla Hamdok speaking at a press conference in Khartoum in 2020

Commenting on talks over the weekend – held immediately before the coup – between Sudan’s parties with the US envoy Jeffrey Feltman, Burhan attempted to place the blame on Hamdok for refusing to compromise with generals, saying the army had moved because he was concerned of the risk of civil war, accusing political forces of incitement against the armed forces.

Burhan added that talks with Hamdok had continued until the night of the coup.

Burhan has moved to dissolve the leadership of Sudan’s powerful trade unions, who played a key role in the protests that ended three decades of military rule in 2019.

Witnesses reported that roads in Khartoum were blocked either by soldiers or by barricades erected by protesters, shops were shut and phone networks down as mosque loudspeakers broadcast calls for a general strike.

On Monday in the immediate aftermath of the coup, Burhan dissolved the military-civilian Sovereign Council set up to guide Sudan to democracy after the overthrow of the long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising in 2019.

Burhan also announced a state of emergency, saying the armed forces needed to protect safety and security. He promised to hold elections in July 2023 and hand over to an elected civilian government then.

In response, the US said it was pausing delivery of $700m in emergency support.

The latest convulsions in Sudan were met with bitterness on the streets by many Sudanese who have struggled through worsening economic conditions.

“We are paying the price for this crisis,” said a man in his 50s looking for medicine at one of the pharmacies where stocks have been running low. “We can’t work, we can’t find bread, there are no services, no money.”

Adam Haroun, a resident of the western city of El Geneina, said there was complete civil disobedience, with schools, stores and petrol stations closed.

Sudan has been ruled for most of its postcolonial history by military leaders who seized power in coups. It had become a pariah to the west and was on a US 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.

After Bashir was toppled, the power-sharing transitional government was meant to lead to elections in 2023. 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.

Agencies contributed to this report

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Published at Tue, 26 Oct 2021 13:45:18 +0000

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/26/sudan-prime-minister-abdalla-hamdok-detained-for-own-safety-says-military-leader

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