Sudanese general declares state of emergency, dissolves government

KHARTOUM, SUDAN - SEPTEMBER 22: Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan and Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo attend a military graduation ceremony of special forces, in Khartoum, Sudan on September 22, 2021. (Photo by Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman in Khartoum, Sudan on September 22, 2021. /Getty Images

Sudan’s top general declared a state of emergency, dissolved the authorities leading the country’s democratic transition, and announced the formation of a new government after soldiers detained civilian leaders Monday.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s announcement in a televised address came after armed forces detained figures of the government in charge of leading the transition to democracy since the April 2019 ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir.

“To rectify the revolution’s course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet,” Burhan said.

His statement came as clashes erupted in the capital Khartoum, with soldiers firing live rounds at people who took to the streets to protest against the power grab.

The violence was largely centered outside the army headquarters in the capital hours after soldiers detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, ministers in his government and civilian members of Sudan’s ruling council, the information ministry said.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan’s state broadcaster in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said.

People took to the streets soon after, setting tires on fire and piling rows of bricks across roads to block them in protest against the military move, an AFP correspondent reported.

“Military forces have fired live bullets on protesters rejecting the military coup outside the army headquarters,” the information ministry said.

Around a dozen people have so far been wounded in the clashes, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, an independent medics union.

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