Sudan coup: African Union suspends activities of Sudan until civilian rule is restored

Sudan coup: African Union suspends activities of Sudan until civilian rule is restored
Sudan coup: African Union suspends activities of Sudan until civilian rule is restored
27 October 2021, 07:57 GMT

Updated 2 hours ago

picture released, EPA

The African Union suspended all activities in Sudan until the restoration of civilian rule in the country.

The union said it rejected the army’s seizure of power, describing it as an “unconstitutional” power grab.

There were reports that the World Bank suspended all aid to Sudan following the coup.

A number of Western powers called for an urgent meeting with the Sudanese Prime Minister, who is in his home under heavy security, Abdullah Hamdok, saying that he still recognizes the Prime Minister and his government as the constitutional leaders of Sudan.

The African Union had previously suspended Sudan’s membership in June 2019 after demonstrators demanding civilian rule were shot dead outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.

Then his membership was reinstated three months later, after Abdullah Hamdok announced the formation of the first government in Sudan, since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir.

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Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan accused politicians of inciting against the army.

The spread of civil disobedience

Workers at Sudan’s national oil company, Sudapet, said Wednesday they would join the nationwide civil disobedience movement called by trade unions in response to the army’s overthrow of the government.

Doctors in Sudan also announced a strike.

A group of neighborhood committees in Khartoum announced a schedule for setting up more barricades and continuing street protests, which could lead to a “million march” on Saturday.

“We announce joining the civil disobedience in support of the people’s decision in support of the civil democratic transition, and until this demand is achieved,” the oil company said in a statement carried by the Sudanese Professionals Association.

The Unified Doctors’ Office, which is made up of several different unions, said: “We will, as we promised and previously announced, enter into a general strike across Sudan in the event of any coup, and we are fully committed to our word and our timings.”

And popular protests continued over the army’s seizure of power at night, as crowds marched in the capital, Khartoum, and closed main roads.

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There were reports of a limited return to internet service, which had been largely cut. At least ten people have been killed since the unrest began.

‘We avoided a civil war’

General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, commander of the Sudanese armed forces, on Tuesday defended the army’s seizure of power, saying that it overthrew the government to avoid civil war. He accused political groups of inciting civilians against the army.

Al-Burhan described the army’s move as not a coup, but rather a correction to the course of the political transition, as he put it.

He explained that he was keeping the ousted civilian prime minister, Abdullah Hamdok, in his home “for his safety.”

Monday’s coup disrupted Sudan’s transition to democracy, two years after a popular uprising toppled former President Omar al-Bashir.

The Sudanese News Agency said on Tuesday evening that it had received reports of attacks by the army on demonstrators’ sites in the capital, Khartoum, and other cities.

She added that the soldiers fired shots and tried to break through the barriers.

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Abdullah Hamdok, the Prime Minister, returned to his home and is still under heavy guard.

Hamdok returned to his home

The United States says that Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, spoke by phone with the ousted Sudanese prime minister, after Abdalla Hamdok returned to his home.

The army had arrested Hamdok and detained him during the military coup on Monday.

The US State Department said in a statement that Blinken welcomed Hamdok’s release, and reiterated his call to the Sudanese Armed Forces to release all civilian leaders arrested in the past 24 hours.

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Soldiers arrested the prime minister and members of his government Monday hours before Burhan appeared on television to announce the dissolution of the Sovereignty Council, the body set up to share power between the army and civilians.

The army’s seizure of power halted Sudan’s transition to democracy two years after a popular uprising toppled President Omar al-Bashir.

On Tuesday, life came to a standstill in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman across the Nile, with shops closed and plumes of smoke rising as protesters set tires ablaze.

Western countries condemned the coup, called for the release of detained ministers, and said they would cut aid if the military did not share power with civilians.

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