The military in Sudan has seized power in a coup d’etat on Monday with heavy gunfire heard as opponents of the takeover hit the street leaving over a dozen, wounded.
Head of the Sovereign Council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan who had shared power between the military and civilians, said the council had been dissolved.
All members of a transitional government expected to guide the country to democracy following the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir have been arrested.
Burhan announced a state of emergency, saying the military needed to protect the country’s safety and security.
Setting elections for July 2023,he said “We guarantee the armed forces’ commitment to completing the democratic transition until we hand over to a civilian elected government.”
“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 locked up at 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.
In Omdurman, protesters blocked streets and chanted in support of civilian rule.
Tensions had built as a coalition of rebel groups and political parties aligned themselves with the military and called on it to dissolve the civilian government, while several cabinet ministers took part in huge protests in Khartoum and other cities against the prospect of military rule.
The military was meant to pass leadership of the 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.
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