The military in Sudan cracks down on protesters

The military in Sudan cracks down on protesters
The military in Sudan cracks down on protesters

After the coup in Sudan, the security forces stepped up their crackdown on demonstrators. Soldiers and police officers cleared street barricades and arrested leaders of the democracy movement.

Meanwhile, international pressure on the coup plotters increased after major donors announced that they would withhold aid. The African Union (AU) suspended Sudan and called for the restoration of a civilian government.

Demos: Thousands on the streets

Today, for the third day in a row, thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against the takeover of power by the military. In several cities in the north-east African country, clashes broke out again between demonstrators and security forces who used tear gas against the people. Union officials spoke of “vengeful” action by the army.

An AFP correspondent saw security forces remove barricades from stones and tires in the capital, Khartoum. “They are arresting anyone who is nearby,” said an AFP protester. In many places the shops remained closed. The democracy movement called for “millions protests” on Saturday to demand the transfer of power to a civilian government.

State of emergency declared

After weeks of tensions between supporters of military rule and supporters of a civilian government, Sudanese soldiers arrested the civilian members of the transitional government on Monday. The chief Sudanese general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, declared a state of emergency and announced the formation of a new government with “competent people”.

The deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was initially held in Burhan’s house after the coup. Yesterday, he and his wife were taken home “under close guard,” his office announced. Other ministers and civilian leaders remained under military arrest.

Exclusion from the African Union

In a joint statement, Western diplomats called for a face-to-face meeting with Hamdok. “We continue to recognize the prime minister and his cabinet as the constitutional leaders of the transitional government,” said the statement signed by the US, EU, UK, Norway and Switzerland.

The African Union today excluded the country from the community pending the restoration of a civilian government. The UN Security Council dealt with the coup in an emergency meeting last night. However, the Council was unable to agree on a joint official declaration on Sudan.

In the north-east African country, after the overthrow of ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019, a sovereign council took over the affairs of state, in which the military and civilians shared power. Since then, the country has been in a transition phase that should end with the establishment of a civilian government in 2023. However, high inflation, economic problems and deep political divisions exacerbated the situation.

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