General Abdel-Fattah Burhan said he was detaining Abdalla Hamdok at his residence for the deposed prime minister’s “own safety.” Meanwhile, three Sudanese ambassadors in Europe have defected.
Sudan’s top general Abdel-Fattah Burhan said on Tuesday he was keeping ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok at “my home,” in the wake of the military coup the army official conducted.
The army official told a news conference in Khartoum that Hamdok was being held there “for his own safety.”
“Yes, we arrested ministers and politicians, but not all” of them, Burhan said, adding that Hamdok was “in good health” and would “return home when the crisis is over.”
PM office speaks out
However, Hamdok’s office hit back, calling for his “immediate” release, as well as others who have also been detained as part of the military operation.
The call for his freedom came in a statement from the information ministry which appealed for the “liberation of everyone” arrested on Monday. This included Hamdok’s wife, several of his ministers, and civilian members of the council that was in charge of the country’s transition to full civilian rule.
The office said that Hamdok is still “the executive authority recognized by the Sudanese people and the world.”
The US condemned the actions of the military and called for the immediate resoration of the civilian-led transitional government.
According to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the Biden administration is considering the range of economic tools it has in response to the military coup, and was reported to be in close communication with Gulf states. The State Department has suspended $700-million in aid meant for the transition to democracy.
Coup necessary to avoid civil war, says Burhan
Burhan stood by the army’s decision to carry out the coup, saying it was required to avoid civil unrest.
“The whole country was suspended due to political rivalries,” he said at the televised news conference. “The experience during the past two years has proven that the participation of political forces in the transitional period is flawed and stirs up strife.”
“We completely align ourselves with the heroic opposition (to the coup) followed by the entire world,” the ambassadors to France, Belgium and Switzerland said, declaring their missions as “embassies of the Sudanese people and their revolution.”
On Monday, Burhan declared a state of emergency and dissolved the government and the ruling Sovereign Council, a joint military and civilian body.
Most of Sudan’s Cabinet ministers and pro-government party leaders were arrested in the process.
Several people have been killed and at least 140 wounded in violent clashes between soldiers and protesting civilians, the health ministry said on Monday.
On Tuesday, in Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman across the Nile, shops were shut down as plumes of smoke were seen from where protesters were burning tires.