Sudan PM detained in military takeover

By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

Updated 2147 GMT (0547 HKT) October 25, 2021
12 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:51 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

What led to the military takeover in Sudan

Protesters march on 60th Street in Khartoum, Sudan, on October 25, to denounce detentions by the military of members of Sudan's government.
Protesters march on 60th Street in Khartoum, Sudan, on October 25, to denounce detentions by the military of members of Sudan's government. (AFP/Getty Images)

Sudan’s military dissolved its power-sharing government and announced a state of emergency on Monday, after soldiers arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his wife and other senior civilian officials, throwing the country into the biggest crisis of its two-year-old democratic transition.

The military takeover comes after weeks of deepening political chaos in the country, where military and civilian groups have been sharing power in an uneasy alliance, dubbed the Sovereign Council, since the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The triumphant mood that swept the nation after Bashir’s removal -- ending his brutal three-decade-long rule -- has soured, with tensions over power-sharing boiling over into protests and contributing to instability.

Tensions ratcheted up as politicians, including Hamdok, pushed for a full transition to civilian rule by November 17.

A failed coup attempt in late September, attributed to forces loyal to Bashir, further strained the already shaky coalition.

In the weeks since, military leaders have been demanding reforms to the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and the replacement of the cabinet. Civilian leaders accused them of a power grab.

Throngs of Sudanese protesters took to the streets last Thursday to demand that the transition agreed after the 2019 pro-democracy movement be honored and an elected government be delivered to the people.

7:14 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

 Sudan's army chief: Power-sharing agreement "became a conflict"

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi 

Sudan’s head of the armed forces said the power-sharing agreement with civilian members of the country's transitional sovereign council “became a conflict” over the past two years, “threatening peace and unity” in Sudan.

“This has caused the military, as the founding authority of the [transitional phase], and stemming from the national responsibility, to protect the safety and security of this country,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who headed up the council, said. 

“We felt an obligation as the military, the Rapid Support Forces and other security apparatus in the country to see the danger, and take steps to protect the advantages of December’s Revolution,” Burhan added.  

7:24 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

German Foreign Minister calls for attempted coup in Sudan to be stopped "immediately"

From CNN’s Nina Avramova in London

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 13.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 13. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for an immediate end to the attempted coup in Sudan, in a statement published Monday. 

"The reports about another attempted coup in Sudan are distressing, the attempt is to be clearly condemned," the statement reads.

"I call on everyone, who is responsible for security and state order in Sudan, to continue the peaceful political transition process towards a democracy in Sudan and to respect the will of the people. This attempted coup has to be stopped immediately.” 

6:37 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

Sudan's military dissolves transitional government, declares state of emergency

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, a military officer who headed Sudan's Sovereign Council, a joint military-civilian power-sharing ruling body, dissolved the council and the transitional government, announcing a state of emergency across the country.

In a televised statement, al-Burhan announced that an “independent and fair representative government” will assume power until one is elected in 2023. 

Several articles of the constitution were suspended and state governors were removed, al-Burhan said. 

6:07 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

Live bullets fired at protesters outside Sudan’s military headquarters, according to Ministry of Information

From CNN’s Tim Lister and Mostafa Salem

Bullets were fired at protesters demonstrating an apparent coup outside Sudan’s military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on Monday, the Ministry of Information said on Facebook. 

The Ministry of Information said that there were casualties, but did not clarify how many or who was shooting at demonstrators. 

Hundreds of people made their way towards the military's General Command following reports of an apparent coup on Monday, according to multiple social media videos. Some could be seen removing razor wire that had been placed across a road amid reports of street closures in several parts of the city.  

Among the chants of the protestors: “We are walking holding worry in our hearts and worry sleeps in people’s chests.” 

In several videos that appear to have been filmed close to army headquarters, crowds are seen running in panic, but it's unclear why. Some media reported gunfire in the area, but CNN has been unable to confirm this. 

7:34 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

African Union calls for release of Sudan's Prime Minister and other arrested officials

From CNN’s Bethlehem Feleke

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, attends a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, on October 1.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, attends a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, on October 1. (Fatih Kurt/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The African Union chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has called for the release of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok and other officials arrested in an apparent coup.

“The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has learned with deep dismay of the serious development of the current situation in Sudan, which has resulted, among other things, in the arrest of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdock and other civilian officials,” a statement said. 
“The Chairperson further calls for the release of all arrested political leaders and the necessary strict respect of human rights,” the statement added. 
6:02 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

Sudan protesters block three key bridges in the capital, police deploy tear gas

From Salah Nasser in Khartoum

Protesters in Sudan have blocked three main bridges in the capital Khartoum, an eyewitness in the city told CNN.

One of the blockaded bridges connects Omdurman city to the capital and leads to the presidential palace. Security forces fired tear gas near the bridge briefly to disperse the protesters, the eyewitness said.

Security forces, including members of the military and a powerful paramilitary unit called the Rapid Support Force, were patrolling the streets, the eyewitness added.

6:03 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

EU’s top diplomat watching events in Sudan with “utmost concern”

From CNN’s Hannah Ritchie and Jake Kwon

Protesters use bricks and burning tires to block 60th Street in Khartoum, Sudan, on October 25, to denounce military detentions of members of Sudan's government.
Protesters use bricks and burning tires to block 60th Street in Khartoum, Sudan, on October 25, to denounce military detentions of members of Sudan's government. (AFP/Getty Images)

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he is watching the unfolding events in Sudan and urged all stakeholders to return to the country’s democratic transition process. 

“Following with utmost concern ongoing events in #Sudan. The EU calls on all stakeholders and regional partners to put back on track the transition process,” Borrell said on Twitter.

6:10 a.m. ET, October 25, 2021

Sudan internet connectivity "severely disrupted"

From Tim Lister, Jake Kwon, Akanksha Sharma and Eliza Mackintosh

The internet services in Sudan are now “severely disrupted with further cuts observed,” according to an update from internet monitor NetBlocks.

The service disruption from 4:30 am UTC (12:30 am ET) manifested "in a telecommunications blackout for many," NetBlocks said in an updated tweet on Monday.

Earlier, NetBlocks had reported an internet disruption with “national connectivity at 34% of ordinary levels” in Sudan.

A source in Khartoum confirmed to CNN that internet services remain unavailable and calls are not going through for some.

Observers on social media Monday raised alarm that the internet disruption was taking place as demonstrators gathered at the military headquarters in Khartoum.

The last time the internet was cut off in Sudan was amid a violent crackdown on protesters on June 3, 2019, when security forces killed more than 100 people gathered at a sit-in near the army headquarters. The internet shutdown continued for weeks, with activists saying that it was part of efforts by the ruling military council to roll back gains by demonstrators that had forced former president Omar al-Bashir.