What is happening in Sudan? Soldiers arrest the prime minister and four ministers

The chief military delegate, Major General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, announced the dissolution of the transitional government in a televised speech. He said that a state of emergency would be declared across the country. According to the general, there must be a government with “competent people”. He states that he wants to work on the “transition to marital status”.

The army detained Prime Minister Hamdok at his residence earlier in the day and pressured him to express his support for the coup. When he refused, he was taken to an unknown location. At least four ministers, a governor and some leaders of reformist political parties were also arrested.

Hamdok called on the Sudanese people to demonstrate peacefully against the coup, according to the Ministry of Information. The main pro-democracy movement, the Trade Union Confederation, also called on residents of the capital, Khartoum, to take to the streets to defend the government. Pictures from Al Arabiya show people setting up burning barricades.

Eyewitnesses also reported that the military, along with members of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, took up positions on the streets of the capital. In the meantime, part of the internet and telephone traffic, as well as air traffic to and from Khartoum, were closed.


The transitional military and civilian government came to power in 2019, after the regime of dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir was ousted following mass protests. From the beginning, especially from conservative Islamic circles, there was a lot of criticism of the new government, which seeks rapprochement with the West and also established diplomatic relations with Israel.

Last Sunday, thousands of people took to the streets to express their support for the military coup. According to them, only the army can put an end to the country’s economic problems.

Last month, state media and army spokesmen reported that a group of soldiers tried to take control of a military base in Khartoum and a building belonging to the state radio. In the end they were overtaken by their colleagues who remained loyal to the transitional government.

Last weekend, the US special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, met with Sudanese military and civilian leaders to resolve the conflict. But this did not work. Feltman condemned the coup attempt yesterday.

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Denton Watson

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