Sudan Anti-coup Protests Defy Army, PM Held Under Guard
Muhammad Irfan 1 month ago Wed 27th October 2021 | 02:00 PM
Khartoum, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Oct, 2021 ) :Furious Sudanese protests against a military coup entered a third day Wednesday, with the prime minister returned home under guard after intense international condemnation of the army's power grab.
But the return to his residence of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok -- who was 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 tyres blocking roads in the capital Khartoum, AFP correspondents said.
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 rocky two-year transition outlined in an August 2019 power-sharing deal between military and civilians after the ouster of autocrat Omar al-Bashir on the back of mass protests against his rule.
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".
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.
Four people were killed and scores wounded on Monday when soldiers opened fire on protesters, according to a doctors' group.
Violence against protesters has mounted, as security forces fired tear gas and launched "vengeful attacks" on protest gatherings nationwide, said the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella of unions which were instrumental in the late 2018-2019 anti-Bashir protests.
Internet services have been blocked. Shops around the capital were shuttered following calls for a campaign of civil disobedience, with the SPA calling for "million-strong protests" on October 30.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Hamdok Tuesday, the State Department said, welcoming the prime minister's return home from custody but expressing "deep concern" about the takeover and reiterating US support for a civilian-led democracy.
The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting late Tuesday to discuss the crisis.
Hamdok's government had this year unlocked international financial assistance, after it was frozen for years under Bashir.
Sudan's ambassadors to Washington, Belgium, France and Switzerland on Tuesday said they backed the civilian leaders, declaring their diplomatic missions as "embassies of the Sudanese people and their revolution", according to the Information Ministry.
The African Union and Arab League also expressed concern.