Sudan anti-coup protests enter third day, PM held under guard

KHARTOUM, SUDAN - OCTOBER 25: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT - "Rasd Sudan Network / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Sudanese people take the streets after the 'military coup' attempt in Khartoum, Sudan on October 25, 2021. Sudan's military arrested the country's prime minister and members of the civilian government, officials in the capital Khartoum announced early Monday. (Photo by Rasd Sudan Network/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Sudanese people protest in the streets of Khartoum, Sudan on October 25, 2021. /Getty Images

Protests against a military coup in Sudan entered a third day Wednesday, with the prime minister returning home under guard.

But Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s return home, after being detained Monday along with his ministers and civilian members of Sudan’s ruling council, did little to appease the protests, with police firing tear gas to break them up.

Demonstrations backing the planned transition to civilian rule continued despite security forces arresting several protesters and tearing down makeshift barricades, including clearing rocks and tires blocking roads in the capital Khartoum.

Hamdok and his wife were returned home “under close surveillance,” his office said Tuesday, while other ministers and civilian leaders remain under full military arrest.

The coup comes after a two-year transition outlined in an August 2019 power-sharing deal between military and civilians after the ouster of the former president, Omar al-Bashir.

Since top General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Monday ordered the dissolution of the government and declared a state of emergency, thousands of citizens have maintained protests, chanting “No to military rule”.

Monday’s coup was the latest in one of the world’s most underdeveloped countries, which has experienced only rare democratic interludes since independence in 1956.

Burhan, who became de facto head of state in 2019 as leader of the joint military-civilian Sovereign Council, was also a senior general during Bashir’s three-decade-long hardline rule, and has the support of Sudan’s much-feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.