American Daily Digest

Soldiers ‘open fire’ on protesters in Sudan after military coup

Soldiers ‘open fire’ on protesters in Sudan hours after military staged a coup and took Prime Minister to an ‘unknown location’

Sudan’s military launched a coup early Monday and seized the prime minister Thousands then took to the streets of capital Khartoum, demanding his release Soldiers opened fire on the crowds, government said, leaving several injured Coup came just weeks before military was due to hand key powers to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who has been overseeing transition to democracy  





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Soldiers have opened fire on protesters in Sudan hours after the military launched a coup with the country’s prime minister marched out of his house by armed men, government sources have said.

Thousands of people rallied close to the military’s headquarters in capital Khartoum on Monday after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was seized in the early hours and taken to an ‘unknown location’.

Video showed huge crowds making their way over barricades around the building, before more footage captured the sound of gunfire.

‘Military forces shot live bullets at protesters,’ Sudan’s information ministry said, adding that ‘a number of injured are expected’.

A doctors’ union that has been central to the protests later said at least 12 people had been hurt, though it was unclear if that was in the shooting or elsewhere. 

Hamdock, who has been overseeing Sudan’s transition from military rule to democracy, was seized just weeks before he was due to take over leadership of the transitional government from General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.   

Protests have erupted on the streets of Sudan’s capital Khartoum after civilian leaders overseeing the country’s transition to democracy were arrested by the military

Demonstrators demand the release of civilian leaders seized by Sudan’s military in what trade unions described as an overnight ‘coup’

Sudan is in the midst of a transition from decades of autocratic and military rule to democracy, which leaders have been warning was under threat (pictured, protests today)

A picture taken in the early hours of Monday purports to show the arrest of civilian ministers by unidentified gunmen, in what has been called a military coup

Revolution, revolution, revolution: What is happening in Sudan? 

Sudan has been unstable since 2019, when a revolution toppled decades of rule by former general Omar al-Bashir.

Protests had begun in 2018 as people demanded better living conditions amid a deteriorating economy, but quickly pivoted to demands for al-Bashir to go.

The 75-year-old military leader had ruled over the country since 1989 when he seized power from the democratic government in a coup.

Following al-Bashir’s ouster, a military council stepped up to replace him but was quickly deposed in further protests led by trade unions.

Since 2019, Sudan has been ruled by the Sovereignty Council – an eleven-member panel of both military and civilian leaders tasked with overseeing a transition to full democracy, with elections due to take place in 2022.

Ahead of that transition, military leaders who have headed the council since it was created were due to hand over power to Prime Minister Aballa Hamdok, a civilian politician.

But Hamdok has now been arrested with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the general who was supposed to hand powers over to him, suspected of orchestrating it.

Unions which were central to the overthrow of the military council have now urged people back on to the streets for fresh protests. 


Armed men arrived at Hamdok’s home and urged him to sign a statement supporting the coup, the information ministry said.

When he refused, he was taken to an ‘unknown location’ along with his wife.

Key ministers within his government have also been arrested, with sources putting the total number of arrests around 300.

In the hours after Hamdok went missing, the military seized control of the country’s national TV and radio broadcaster, cut Internet services, and seized control of key bridges in the capital. 

Al-Burhan then went on TV to announce a state of emergency, saying he has dissolved the transitional government and dismissed the Cabinet. 

Sudan has been politically unstable since a 2019 revolution overthrew decades of autocratic rule by Omar al-Bashir, a former military general, and then a military council that stepped in to replace him.

Since April 2019, the country has been led by a transitional council run by both military and civilian leaders tasked with rewriting the constitution and then holding elections, which were due for November 2022.

Tensions between civilian and military leaders have been evident since the start of the transition, but have reached a head in recent months as deadlines for the handover of key powers loomed. 

Burhan claimed Monday’s coup was ‘to rectify the revolution’s course.’

It comes a month after the government said it had thwarted another coup attempt by soldiers loyal to al-Bashir which had targeted Hamdok, and more than a year after he survived an assassination plot. 

After the failed coup, Hamdok gave a speech calling it ‘the worst and most dangerous crisis that not only threatens the [democratic] transition, but threatens our whole country.’ 

His arrest comes just two days after a Sudan faction calling for a transfer of power to civilian rule warned of a ‘creeping coup’ during a press conference that an unidentified mob attack tried to stop.

Following news of Monday’s coup, US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman said: ‘The US is deeply alarmed at reports of a military take-over of the transitional government. 

‘This would contravene the Constitutional Declaration (which outlines the transition) and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people,’ he said, according to a statement on Twitter.

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (left), has led Sudan’s transitional government since it took power in April 2019, and was due to hand over power to Abdalla Hamdok (right) next month. Hamdok has now been arrested along with his ministers 

Protesters constructed barricades and burned tyres on the streets of Khartoum on Monday amid calls for a campaign of ‘civil disobedience’ to military rule

The ‘coup’ comes weeks before Sudan’s military leaders were due to hand over key roles in the government to civilians as part of the transition to democracy

Protesters walk between palls of tyre smoke that have filled the streets of Sudan’s capital Khartoum since the ‘coup’ began in the early hours

Tensions within the transitional government have also been exacerbated by a split within the civilian faction of the government that has seen it split into two blocs.

‘The crisis at hand is engineered — and is in the shape of a creeping coup,’ Yasser Arman, leader of the civilian FFC told a Saturday press conference in Khartoum.

‘We renew our confidence in the government, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and reforming transitional institutions — but without dictations or imposition,’ he added.

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 the capital Khartoum demanding a return to ‘military rule’.

On Saturday, Hamdok denied rumours he had agreed to a cabinet reshuffle, calling them ‘not accurate’.

The premier also ’emphasised that he does not monopolise the right to decide the fate of transitional institutions.’

Also on Saturday, US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman met jointly with Hamdok, the chairman of Sudan’s ruling body General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

‘Feltman emphasised US support for a civilian democratic transition in accordance with the expressed wishes of Sudan’s people,’ the US embassy in Khartoum said.

Analysts have said the recent mass protests showed strong support for a civilian-led democracy, but warned street demonstrations may have little impact on the powerful factions pushing a return to military rule.

Sudan has been politically unstable since a 2019 revolution that overthrew military leader Omar al-Bashir who had ruled the country for three decades (pictured, protesters on Monday)

Since April 2019, power in Sudan has rested with a joint military-civilian coalition that has been wracked with in-fighting and power struggles (pictured, protests on Monday)

The protests are centered around the Sudanese capital of Khartoum (pictured) 

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