THOUSANDS took to the streets of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum yesterday, to demand the release of the political leaders amid reports of clashes and gunfire. The protesters shouted ‘No to military rule!’
The internet has been cut off, while roads and bridges in Khartoum have been blocked. The airport has also been closed and the headquarters of state television and radio were raided by security forces.
The Sudanese military staged the coup in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Security forces in Sudan arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and several other members of the country’s civilian leadership, as General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who headed the Sovereign Council – a power-sharing ruling body – announced a state of emergency across the country and dissolved the council and the transitional government.
Soldiers were stationed on the streets of Khartoum and restricted civilians’ movements, as protesters opposed to the military takeover carried the national flag and burned tyres across the city.
Footage broadcast by the Al Jazeera Mubasher television channel showed protesters pushing through barricades and entering the street surrounding the military headquarters.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors reported at least 12 people were wounded in clashes and the information ministry said that protesters faced gunfire near the military HQ.
Other civilian officials were taken into custody including Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, and the governor of Khartoum, Ayman Khalid.
The men were taken from their homes before dawn, said al-Sheikh’s daughter and Khalid’s wife.
Information Minister Hamza Baloul, media adviser to the prime minister Faisal Mohammed Saleh, and the spokesman for Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, were also arrested.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the country’s main pro-democratic political group said in a statement: ‘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.’
Last week, tens of thousands of Sudanese marched in several cities to back the full transfer of power to civilians.