Sunday, October 31, 2021

Inside the frantic days leading to Sudan’s coup

Report by ABDI LATIF DAHIR and DECLAN WALSH, The New York Times

Published: Sun 31 Oct 2021 08:21 AM BdST - Reprinted by

Title: 'They lied.’ Inside the frantic days leading to Sudan’s coup

For days, the American envoy navigated between Sudan’s army chief and prime minister, striving to head off the collapse of a tenuous democratic transition in the country that had been two years in the making.

In a frantic series of meetings in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum last weekend, Jeffrey Feltman, the US envoy to the Horn of Africa, sought to narrow the differences between the army chief, Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the civilian prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, who had been sharing power since the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

At a final meeting Sunday afternoon, al-Burhan argued that Sudan’s Cabinet should be dismissed and replaced with technocrats but gave no indication he was preparing to seize power. With that reassurance, the American diplomat wrapped things up and caught a flight to Qatar where, on landing, his phone lit up: A coup was underway in Sudan.

“They lied to him,” said Nureldin Satti, Sudan’s ambassador to the United States, referring to his country’s military leadership. “This is very serious, because when you lie to the US, you have to pay the consequences.”

No one factor appeared to prompt al-Burhan to call a halt to Sudan’s democratic transition. Nor is it certain his coup will succeed, given the mass demonstrations called for this Saturday.

In a series of interviews with analysts and multiple American, Sudanese and European officials, a picture emerged of a military that had grown frustrated with its civilian partners and was intent on maintaining its privileged position and avoiding any investigations into its business affairs or human rights abuses during al-Bashir’s three decades of rule.

Some also faulted the civilian opposition for failing to assuage the generals’ fears of prosecution while the transition to democracy was still underway, while one US official said that Russia had encouraged the coup in hopes of securing commercial advantages and a port on the Red Sea.

Sudan’s civilian leadership had been living in fear of a military coup for at least 18 months. Last weekend, as pro-military protesters camped outside the presidential palace and a pro-military ethnic group closed off the country’s main seaport, it seemed imminent.

Around noon Monday, al-Burhan announced the dissolution of the country’s governing bodies, arrested the prime minister, blocked the internet and announced a nationwide state of emergency. He also disbanded the committees managing the country’s trade unions, while his security forces arrested top civilian leaders, at least one of whom was badly beaten, according to Western officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, under normal diplomatic practice.

His moves plunged the nation into a wave of deadly protests and work stoppages, and drew condemnation from regional and global leaders who insisted on the need to return to civilian leadership. But none of that has seemed to soften the resolve of al-Burhan and his confederates.

“We are back to square one,” said Jihad Mashamoun, a Sudanese researcher and analyst. “General al-Burhan has once again set the seal on the military’s dominance in Sudanese affairs, and the people will come out to face him.”

Little known before 2019, al-Burhan, 61, rose to power in the tumultuous aftermath of the military-led coup that ousted al-Bashir. Then the inspector general of the armed forces, he played a role in sending Sudanese troops, including children, to fight in Yemen’s civil war. He had also served as a regional army commander in Darfur, when 300,000 people were killed and millions of others displaced in fighting between 2003 and 2008.

A close associate of al-Bashir, the general firmly believed the military was the most important institution in the country, tantamount to the state itself, said Cameron Hudson, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Centre.

Thrust into the public eye following a popular uprising against the strongman ruler, he proved a reluctant leader, unaccustomed to the international stage. Under the long decades of isolation and international sanctions under al-Bashir, his sphere of travel had been limited to a handful of Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

By contrast, Hamdok, 65, an economist by training, had spent much of his career working at international financial institutions and consulting firms.

The two leaders remained amicable in the beginning, with Hamdok’s government overseeing a raft of reforms that succeeded in removing Sudan from the US list of countries that sponsor terrorism, banned female genital cutting and scrapped apostasy laws. He also signed a peace agreement with rebel groups.

But their relationship soon soured over the question of how best to manage the country and the economy. Those differences deepened after a coup attempt in September.

Tensions rose further in recent months as pro-democracy groups stepped up calls for the military to relinquish power to civilians and for the transitional government to investigate human rights abuses and corruption under al-Bashir. The military balked, analysts and officials said, fearful that any measures of accountability would expose their personal, financial and factional interests.

“It’s all tactical retreat,” said Hudson, arguing that the generals signed the power-sharing agreement in 2019 to relieve pressure on the military, not because they truly believed in it. “The only throughline in all of this is the military’s survival.”

Another divisive issue was whether to hand over al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court, where he has been charged with crimes against humanity and other offenses. Neither al-Burhan nor Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, also known as Hemeti, head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces that were accused of genocidal violence in Darfur, have been indicted by the court, and analysts say they are keen to maintain the status quo.

“The two generals have had very close relations since Darfur and have everything to worry about if Mr al-Bashir is taken to the ICC,” Mashamoun said. “They would like to see some sort of immunity.”

The armed forces and intelligence services have also resisted efforts to rein in their extensive financial power.

Together they control hundreds of state-owned enterprises dealing in the production and sale of minerals, including gold, imports and exports of livestock, construction materials and pharmaceuticals. Rife with corruption, the companies rarely contribute their profits to the national budget, said Suliman Baldo, a senior adviser at The Sentry, a Washington-based group that seeks to expose corruption in Africa.

Al-Burhan also heads the board of trustees for Defence Industrial Systems, one of the military’s biggest firms. “He is doubling up as a corporate baron while he’s also the general commander of the army and now the de facto head of state,” Baldo said.

But civilian leaders in the transitional government bear some of the blame for the breakdown in relations, said Satti, the Sudanese ambassador, whom the military said Thursday it had fired along with other ambassadors who had publicly condemned the coup. Satti insisted that he was still on the job.

“There is a tug of war and a mutual provocation between the two sides,” he said. He added that some civilians did not understand the importance of alleviating the military’s fears.

With rising inflation and a shortage of basic goods, Hamdok faced a lot of pressure, too. A technocrat by training and temperament, he lacked the political skills to manage the tensions, Satti said.

There were “too many actors, a lot of disagreements and not a proper background to understand the requirements of the moment,” he said. “And he pushed too hard, too fast.”

Analysts said that al-Burhan would not have undertaken the coup without at least the tacit approval of powerful allies in the Middle East. Two of those, Egypt and the UAE, have yet to criticise the coup, while Saudi Arabia has condemned it, the US State Department said in a statement.

Al-Burhan has defended the coup as necessary to avert a “civil war” and promised to transfer power following elections in 2023. It is a timeline many young Sudanese say they do not agree with, a point they plan on making in Saturday’s protests.

“It’s going to be a showdown,” Mashamoun said.

© 2021 The New York Times Company

IMAGE, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan attends a news conference during the International Conference in support of Sudan at the Temporary Grand Palais in Paris, France, May 17, 2021. REUTERS 

View source:

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Why Sudan’s coup leader Gen Burhan risked a blatant power grab - Who can trust him to keep his word?

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor:  Here below is a copy of Professor Dr. Alex de Waal’s latest Sudan coup analysis, published at BBC NEWS in the early hours of Wed 27 Oct 2021. British-born Alex (pictured below) is the executive director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the US. 

If you zoom in on the photo of Alex you can see some of the books are about Sudan and South Sudan. The large grey book with the title MASS STARVATION printed in a white circle is one of his many published works. This is not the most flattering photo available online. I have chosen it because it conveys some of the weariness and exhaustion he must feel after the miles of serious papers he has read during his lifetime. The deeply sad and difficult subjects he studies and writes about are, I believe, succeeding in making an important contribution towards world peace. 

The twitter account of World Peace Foundation @WorldPeaceFdtn is at:

A list of published works by Alex de Waal is at Wikipedia:

IMAGE, Professor Dr. Alex de Waal. IMAGE SOURCE, World Peace Foundation, Tufts University:

Sudan coup: Why the army is gambling with the future

Analysis at BBC NEWS online


Africa analyst

Published Wednesday 27 October 2021

Sudan's coup leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has taken a leap into the dark. 

He has endangered Sudan's international standing as a nascent democracy, imperilled essential debt relief and international aid, and jeopardised peace with rebels in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains.

He was head of Sudan's Sovereign Council and the face of the army in the country's civilian-military cohabitation - until Monday, when he seized complete power.

He dissolved the country's civilian cabinet, arresting Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other prominent civilians with whom the military had agreed to share power until elections were held next year.

The general's autocratic ambitions were no secret.

Over the last months, he showed impatience with Mr Hamdok's leadership, signalling that a strong ruler was needed to save the nation.

At a recent military-backed demonstration in the capital, Khartoum, protesters blamed Mr Hamdok for deteriorating living conditions - not helped by a blockade at the main port in the east which has led to shortages.

Sudanese democrats were alert to the army's stratagems, which seemed to be copied from the playbook that led to Abdul Fatah al-Sisi's military takeover in Egypt in 2013.

The Sudan Professionals Association and the multitude of neighbourhood committees that had orchestrated the non-violent protests which brought down the 30-year rule of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 prepared for a new round of street demonstrations.

IMAGE: Source EPA. Caption, Protestors are determined not to allow the army to steal the revolution that saw Omar al-Bashir ousted in 2019

Foreign diplomats were also worried. US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feldman visited Khartoum at the weekend to press for agreement between the generals and the civilians. He left the city on Sunday with - he thought - a pact agreed.

The coup was staged hours later, leaving the Americans not only dismayed but outraged.

Making it clear that they had been deceived, the US administration has "paused" a $700m (£508m) financial assistance package.

An even bigger issue is the status of Sudan's debt relief package, recently negotiated by Mr Hamdok.

After two years of painful delays, international aid to salvage Sudan's economy was finally in prospect - and is now in jeopardy.

The African Union (AU), the United Nations, the East African regional body Igad and all of Sudan's Western donors have condemned the coup and called for a return to civilian rule.

The Arab League has also called for the constitutional formula to be respected. The grouping is usually in step with the Egyptian government, raising the question of how much Gen Burhan can count on the backing of Cairo.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which provided crucial financial aid to Gen Burhan in 2019, have stayed silent so far.

Their sympathies probably lie with the army strongman, but they will also know they cannot cover the costs of bailing out Sudan.

Gen Burhan was already the most powerful man in the country, his role legitimised by the August 2019 power-sharing deal between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), a loose coalition of civilian groups.

So why would he risk it all on a blatant power grab?

Commercial empires

According to that agreement, Gen Burhan was due to step down as chairman of the Sovereign Council next month.

At that point, a civilian chosen by the FFC would become the head of state, and the civilians in government would be better placed to push ahead with implementing key items on their agenda.

“Not only was the army commanding a vast share of the national budget, but military-owned companies operate with tax exemptions and often alleged corrupt contracting procedures" 

Alex de Waal, Africa analyst


One is accountability for human rights violations. The government is committed in principle to handing over ex-President Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

His former lieutenants - including Gen Burhan and leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces Gen Mohamed Hamdan "Hemeti" Dagolo - wanted him to be tried in Sudan and not in The Hague.

They have good reason to fear that Bashir will name them as culprits in the alleged atrocities meted out during the Darfur war.

Gen Burhan and his fellow officers have even more reason to fear that investigation into the massacre in Khartoum in June 2019 would also point the finger of blame in their direction.

It took place two months after Bashir's removal by the army, when peaceful protesters were calling for civilian rule.

Tackling corruption and implementing security sector reform were other agenda items that worried the generals.

Take the cumbersomely named "Commission for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption, and Recovering Public Funds."

This was not only exposing and uprooting the network of companies owned by the Islamists forced out of power in 2019, but also the tentacles of the commercial empires owned by senior generals.

Mr Hamdok had become increasingly outspoken in his criticism of the military entanglement in the economy.

Not only was the army commanding a vast - and still-increasing - share of the national budget, but military-owned companies operate with tax exemptions and often allegedly corrupt contracting procedures.

Placing the army under proper civilian control was also a priority for the next stage of the transitional period.

Risk of rebel action

Gen Burhan is claiming he is keeping the transition to democracy on track - and has promised a technocratic civilian government and elections in two years.

Most Sudanese see this as an unconvincing fa├žade.

The crackdown has dissolved the key trade unions and professional groups that organised the previous street protests. Internet and social media are largely shut down. Troops have fired on protesters, reportedly killing 10.

VIDEO: Media Caption, Demonstrators take to the streets of Khartoum to protest against the arrests

Street activists have overcome such clampdowns before and forced the army to back down, most notably in the aftermath of the June 2019 killings.

The generals must also face the reality that the civil war in parts of the country is not over.

A peace agreement last year brought several armed opposition groups into government - but no deal was yet reached with the biggest two rebel forces.

IMAGE: Source, AFP. Caption, Gen Burhan (L) and civilian PM Hamdok (R) were part of a power-sharing administration

In Darfur there is the Sudan Liberation Movement headed by Abdel Wahid al-Nur, and in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan there is the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu.

Both command popular support and have shown military resilience. Both were in peace talks with the government and had confidence in Mr Hamdok. The coup threatens renewed conflict.

With his unconstitutional seizure of power, Gen Burhan has taken a huge gamble.

He is offering no answers to Sudan's most pressing issues - the economy, democratisation and peace - and is risking turmoil and bloodshed at home and pariah status abroad.

In July 2019, following the army's violent crackdown on the democracy movement, the "quartet" of the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, working hand-in-glove with the AU, stepped in to press for a negotiated solution - which followed the next month.

A similar process may be needed to bring Sudan back from the brink. The problem is, after Monday, who can trust Gen Burhan to keep his word?

Alex de Waal is the executive director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the US.

More on the Sudan coup:

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Abdel Fattah al-Burhan


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Published 9 September 2019

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Source - BBC NEWS, view original at:

UNITAMS: Sudan’s PM Hamdok safe and well at home

Sudan's PM Hamdok, detained after coup, is home

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor:  Although I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the following report, I am posting it here because it provides some details about Sudan's Prime Minister Hamdok and his wife. Sadly, I have not found any reliable news about Mr Hamdok's cabinet colleagues, their current whereabouts and how they are being treated. I am reluctant to post this report here today but am confident that Mr Hamdok and his wife have been released safely. Reportedly, they were abducted and detained at the home of Sudan's coup leader Gen. Burhan. More on this at a later date.   

Photo, Sudan's head of the military Gen Abdel-Fattah Burhan speaks during a press conference at the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

Sudan’s prime minister, detained after coup, returns home

Report at Fox17 dot com 

Written by SAMY MAGDY, Associated Press (AP) 

Published Wednesday 27 October 2021 

Sudan's deposed prime minister and his wife were allowed to return home Tuesday, a day after they were detained when the military seized power in a coup, according to a statement issued by his office.

The release of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and his wife followed international condemnation of the coup and calls for the military to release all the government officials who were detained when Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan seized power on Monday.

The statement by Hamdok's office said other government officials remained in detention, their locations unknown. The deposed prime minister and his wife were under "heavy security" at home in the upscale Kafouri neighborhood of the capital Khartoum, said a military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. The official did not say whether they were free to leave or make calls.

Earlier in the day, Burhan said Hamdok had been held for his own safety and would be released. But he warned that other members of the dissolved government could face trial as protests against the putsch continued in the streets.

View full report plus 14 photos here:

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

BBC World Service Africa LIVE updates and pictures: How Sudan's coup unfolded on Monday 25 Oct 2021

NOTE from Sudan Watch Editor:  According to a news report by The Associated Press (AP) today (Tuesday, 26 October 2021) the UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency closed-door meeting on the coup in Sudan for this afternoon. Diplomats said late yesterday that the consultations were requested by the US, UK, France, Ireland, Norway and Estonia. The council is wrapping up a visit to Mali and Niger and is scheduled to return to New York early this afternoon, so the meeting has been scheduled for 4 pm EDT, the diplomats said ahead of an official announcement. View the original AP report here

Also, this phenomenal reporting is from the live page of BBC World Service Africa posted online yesterday (Monday, 25 October 2021) the day that Sudan's coup unfolded. I have edited using [...] to show where I have cut text to keep the entire collection of the day's fast-moving live reporting as short as possible. Coverage began at 5:03 am and ended at 22:18 pm GMT UK. Amazing. 

LIVE Africa news updates on Sudan

By BBC World Service Africa 

Published throughout the day on Monday 25 October 2021 

From 5:03 am to 22:18 pm GMT UK:

Posted at 22:18

In pictures: Sudan coup protestors take to streets

Protests have erupted in several cities including the capital Khartoum after the military coup. 

Read more:

Posted at 21:56

Several killed in protests against Sudan coup

Soldiers are said to have opened fire on large crowds opposing the military takeover.

Read more:

Posted at 18:31

How Sudan's coup unfolded

We're pausing our live page coverage of Monday's events in Sudan, where the prime minister and his wife were detained along with members of his cabinet and civilian leaders in a putsch.

Here's how it unfolded:

  • Armed soldiers were deployed to the capital as angry protesters burnt tyres.
  • The coup leader Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan announced a state of emergency and dissolved the body overseeing the transition to civilian rule.
  • Reports circulated of a fierce crackdown against coup opponents. There have been at least three deaths, according to a Sudanese labour union for doctors.
  • Sudanese state media was hit by a crackdown as the director of the Sudanese General Corporation for Radio and Television Transmission was arrested and fired.
  • Leaders around the world voiced concern about events including the AU, the UN, the United States, the EU and the Arab League.

Posted at 18:03 

Media crackdown in wake of Sudan coup

Sudanese journalist Yousra Elbagir reports that security forces have raided the offices of media company Ramatan and arrested staff they found there.

"Editors, technicians and cameramen," were reportedly among them: [View more on Twitter]

Sudanese state media has also suffered a crackdown with Lukman Ahmed - the director of the Sudanese General Corporation for Radio and Television Transmission - arrested and fired.

Sudan already ranked among the bottom 10 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) annual press freedom index.

Journalists in the country have long operated under restrictions which were only briefly lifted in 2019 when former President Bashir's tenure, before being reimposed by the Transitional Military Council.

Posted at 17:48

Fierce security crackdown in Sudan - reports

Former BBC journalist Mohanad Hashim, who has returned from Khartoum, said the oppression he witnessed in Sudan was reminiscent of the crackdown in the early days of the uprising against former President Omar al-Bashir in 2018.

In one seemingly recent video on social media, which appears to be in Khartoum on Monday, gunfire can be heard as people flee the scene: [View more on Twitter]

Mr Hashim told Focus on Africa radio that the casualties of people harmed in and around the army headquarters could be in their dozens.

There are also reports from Doctors in Sudan that two protesters have died.

Posted at 17:24

South Sudan urges Sudan to return to dialogue

By Nichola Mandil, Juba

The government of South Sudan is urging the military and differing parties in neighbouring Sudan to quickly return to dialogue amid a coup.

A press release issued by South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry says President Salva Kiir affirms his unwavering solidarity with the people of Sudan. […]

But the statement neither explicitly condemns nor welcomes the military coup in Sudan.

Last year President Salva Kiir brokered a peace deal between Sudan’s transitional government and factions of rebel groups from the western Sudan region of Darfur and the Blue Nile region, which saw some leaders of these movements return to Khartoum and join the interim government.

Posted at 17:06

Where is Prime Minister Hamdok?

By BBC Focus on Africa

Image credit AFP/BBC “Seen here on a visit to France in 2019, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and his wife - economist Muna Abdalla - are being held in an undisclosed location.”

The exact whereabouts of Sudan's prime minister - the top civilian figure in the transitional government - are still unknown.

"We know he was held under house arrest this morning, some accounts suggested he was asked by the military to come in support [of the takeover]," former BBC journalist Mohanad Hashim told Focus on Africa radio.

"He refused and there was a statement from him urging people to take to the streets and protect the revolution, then he was whisked away to an undisclosed location with his wife."

Two of his ministers - the minister for cabinet affairs, and the minister for information - were both "arrested and maltreated, some say badly beaten," Sudan TV journalist Mr Hashim said.

"[In addition] my boss has been arrested and fired from his position - former BBC journalist Lukman Ahmed - and his whereabouts are also unknown as we speak," Mr Hashim added.

Posted at 16:56

Two die in protests - reports

By BBC World Service

Doctors in Sudan say at least two people have been killed in protests against a military takeover of the country and around 80 others wounded.

Shots were fired as large groups of people took to the streets to demonstrate against the coup.

Posted at 16:31

Coup is not a done deal - analysis

By BBC Newshour, BBC World Service

People in Sudan are quick to mobilise when the military oversteps its mark, says Alex de Waal.

Events in Sudan have many hallmarks of a successful coup, yet Africa analyst Alex de Waal argues it's not a "done deal".

"Whenever the military members of the hybrid arrangement we have now, whenever they tried to overstep the mark the street mobilised and pulled them back - and I suspect that is what we are going to see now," he told BBC Newshour [ ].

"All Sudanese were quite capable of seeing the stratagems that generals were playing over the last few weeks," he says, adding that "there is a tremendous resourceful capacity for civic mobilisation in Sudan, which we’ve seen recurrently since the overthrow of President Bashir in 2019."

De Waal, who is executive director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, also said Sudan's military were "following the Egypt playbook, using protests and discontent as pretext for a military takeover".

Yet he said, despite the Egyptian president's known sympathy for Sudan's military rulers, it was "quite striking" that the "Arab League has not come out in support of what is happening".

"It’s not clear what backing Gen Burhan has for this move."

Posted at 16:11

Sudan coup: a simple guide 

Monday’s coup comes after weeks of tension between the military and civilian leaders. 

Read more: [ ]

Posted at 16:07

US 'deeply alarmed' by events in Sudan

[…] “We reject the actions by the military and call for the immediate release of the prime minister and others who have been placed under house arrest," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Meanwhile, Democrat Senator Chris Coons, a leading member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has warned that US aid to Sudan could end if Prime Minister Hamdok and the full transitional government is not restored to power. [View more on Twitter: Senator Chris Coons @ChrisCoons]

Posted at 15:39

We want to see a Sudan where people are free - protester

By BBC Newshour, BBC World Service

Duaa Tariq, a human rights defender and artist, is one of those protesting in Khartoum today and she's been speaking to Newshour on the BBC World Service about what's been going on:

"There is a lot of confusion, fear and also solidarity on the streets... because [people] have seen signs of this coming for the last four days.

"People were ready and the streets are all blocked with barricades.

"It is difficult to gather and organise... because of the internet blackout.

"The army is only guarding the army headquarters and the bridges [on the Nile].

"There is tension and violence... people who tried to get to the army headquarters were met with gunshots.

"We want to see a Sudan where people are free... we don't want military rule to be back after all we've seen. [see photo]

Posted at 15:10

UN Secretary General condemns Sudan coup

The United Nations Secretary General has called on Sudan's military to release the prime minister and "all other officials" immediately, in a Twitter post which condemned the coup.

He said that the constitutional charter must be respected in full, and said the citizens of Sudan have the international body's support. [View more on Twitter]

Meanwhile there was further condemnation from the UK government.

The country's minister for Africa tweeted that the coup was a "betrayal" of the Sudanese people and called on security forces to release the prime minister. [View more on Twitter]

Posted at 14:48

The state of emergency won't deter civilians - analysis 

By Mohamed Osman, BBC Arabic, Khartoum

The only surprise in the televised speech by Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan was the announcement of the state of emergency.

This now paves the way for more measures to be introduced under the pretext of emergency rule.

When the state of emergency was enforced during the final days of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, and later by the military council, many political figures and journalists were arrested.

But when it comes to the coup itself, a lot of political observers were expecting what we saw today in Sudan. Even ordinary people were anticipating that something would happen.

Gen Burhan and other army leaders have been expressing clear dissatisfaction lately in the power-sharing agreement with civilians.

He had repeatedly said that deep divisions in the council, and the recent protests and sit-ins by civilians, were creating a state of chaos in the country.

For him, what happened today was about getting the transitional period in Sudan back on track.

But the civilian-led protest movement disagrees with this view, as the number of demonstrators on the street, which is expected to increase, attests to.

The Sudanese people have proven more than once that a state of emergency will not stop them from taking to the streets to set out their demands.

Posted at 14:24

Sudan party rejects coup - pro-opposition website


The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) has rejected the army's takeover of power and urged the Sudanese people to confront the "military coup", pro-opposition website Al-Rakoba has reported.

"We ask all the active forces and all the forces that stand and support a civilian authority to declare a political strike and civil disobedience until the coup is defeated," the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the SCP said in a statement. […]

Posted at 13:57

Smoke and victory signs at Sudan protests

Photos published on Monday show demonstrators in Sudan gathering in the capital, Khartoum, amid scenes of burning tyres and streets deserted of cars. [View 3 photos]

Posted at 13:54

Protests against Sudan's military coup

Demonstrators take to Khartoum's streets in opposition to arrests by the military of political leaders. [View video]

Posted at 13:41

How has the world reacted to Sudan's coup?


Many world leaders have condemned the military takeover in Sudan, and called for opposing parties to dialogue:

  • The African Union says it learnt with deep dismay about the events in Sudan and has called for the immediate resumption of dialogue between the military and civilians.
  • The United States says it's deeply alarmed. The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa expressed support for the transitional government and said a coup would contravene the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people.
  • The UN has condemned the coup. An envoy to Sudan said the detentions were unacceptable and called on all parties to immediately return to dialogue.
  • The Arab League said it was concerned for Sudan's transition to civilian rule.
  • The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, called on all stakeholders and regional partners to put the process back on track.

Posted at 13:24

Sudan soldiers 'fire at protesters'


"Soldiers have fired live bullets at the demonstrators who rejected the military coup in front of the General Command of the Army, and [an unknown] number of casualties are expected," the ministry said in a short post on its Facebook page.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Khartoum to protest against the arrest of the prime minister and senior civilian officials who were members of the transitional government. […]

Posted at 13:06

Regional bloc condemns Sudan coup

East African body, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), has condemned the coup in Sudan, saying it was a setback to the country's transition to civilian rule.

The body said it was "alarmed" by developments in the country and called for restrain.

"The organisation stands ready to support the transitional government of Sudan and the Sudanese people consolidate peace and democratic gains," Igad's executive secretary said moments before Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan dissolved Sudan's Sovereign Council.

Sudan's ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is the current chair of Igad.

Posted at 12:50

'Chanting protesters' appear to condemn Gen Burhan

Video clips circulating on social media appear to show protesters outside the General Command in Khartoum, which is the same area where pro-democracy demonstrations were held in 2019.

According to one thread people were chanting: "The military belongs to Sudan, the military doesn’t belong to Burhan".  View more on Twitter.

Posted at 12:23

Sudan PM 'kidnapped' - government ministry

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has been "kidnapped" in his Khartoum home alongside his wife in the early hours of Monday morning, according to a statement on the Ministry of Culture and Information's Facebook page.

It says what happened represents a huge infringement of the constitution and and a "complete coup".

The statement called on Sudanese people to take to the streets in peaceful protest to do all they can to "protect their revolution".

Posted at 12:08

Military tears up previous agreements - analysis 

By Will Ross, Africa editor, BBC World Service

Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, was meant to be handing over the leadership of the ruling Sovereign Council to a civilian next month – one step on a road to elections in Sudan.

Instead, he's torn up previous agreements and, in what amounts to a coup, has scrapped the power-sharing agreement between civilians and the military.

The government has been dissolved and elections set for just under two years’ time.

Gen Burhan and other senior military figures are known to have the support of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

It is likely that this backing influenced the decision to halt the agreed transition to civilian rule.

Posted at 11:53

Sudan general declares state of emergency amid coup

By Nichola Mandil, Juba

The head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan has dissolved the council and the cabinet and declared a state of emergency across the whole country.

He made the announcement in a live televised address.

All members of the Sovereign Council - overseeing the transition to democratic rule - have been relieved from their positions, he said.

He also dissolved all the state governments and removed the governors from their positions.

He said that a caretaker government will be announced before the end of November, and declared that general elections to pave the way to a civilian government will take place in July 2023.

Posted at 11:36

African Union dismayed over Sudan coup

The chairperson of the African Union Commission has called for the "immediate resumption of consultations" between civilians and the military amid a coup in Sudan.

A statement said Moussa Faki Mahamat was deeply dismayed by unfolding events and called for the "release of all arrested political leaders and the necessary strict respect of human rights".

Posted at 11:22

BREAKING Sovereign Council dissolved - Burhan

Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan - the head of Sudan's Sovereign Council - just gave a speech announcing a state of emergency.

He also dissolved the Sovereign Council that was overseeing the transition to civilian rule, as well as the dissolution of cabinet.

Posted at 11:08

EU wants Sudan's transition 'back on track'

The European Union has called on Sudan's military and civilian leaders to put the country's transition process "back on track".

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell tweeted on Monday that he was following events in the country with "utmost concern".

Posted at 10:59

Twelve injured in Khartoum clashes - reports

Twelve people have been injured in clashes between protesters and the military forces in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, a doctors' committee in Sudan says.

Posted at 10:40

UN calls for release of Sudan civilian leaders

The United Nations has urged Sudan's security forces to "immediately release those who have been unlawfully detained or placed under house arrest".

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok is among civilian leaders reported to have been put under house arrest on Monday by unidentified soldiers.

"I am deeply concerned about reports of an ongoing coup and attempts to undermine Sudan’s political transition. The reported detentions of the Prime Minister, government officials, and politicians are unacceptable, said Volker Perthes, UN special representative to Sudan.

"All parties must immediately return to dialogue and engage in good faith to restore the constitutional order," he added.

It remains unclear who was behind the pre-dawn arrests.

Posted at 10:29

Signs of Sudan's coup build-up have been clear

By Anne Soy, BBC News, Nairobi

Recent weeks have seen a rapid build-up of tensions in Khartoum.

A hostile take-over of power is what many in Sudan and beyond have feared could happen anytime. The signs have been all too clear.

A pro-military sit-in right in front of the Presidential Palace was seen as choreographed to lead to a coup. No attempt was made to disguise its purpose. The protesters demanded that the military overthrow "failed" civilian leaders.

It was an unusual attempt at legitimising a military take-over – using the guise of a popular protest.

Nearly a week later, a counter-protest was held. This time, huge crowds came out in support of the civilian government.

With more protests called by pro-democracy groups to "counter a military coup", Sudan could be set for yet another period of showdown between the armed forces and the people.

The country has made huge strides in normalising ties with the West and unlocking much-needed funding streams.

The promise of transition to democracy has kept many Sudanese and the country’s allies hopeful. But all that could be at risk now.

Whatever happens, this is no doubt a defining moment in its politics.

Posted at 10:00

Coup reports 'major blow' to Sudan transition - HRW

Reports of a military takeover in Sudan are "a major blow" to Sudan's transition to civilian rule, Human Rights Watch says.

Sudan is currently run by a joint military-civilian Sovereign Council. The military wing is scheduled to hand over the leadership of the Sovereign Council to the civilian component next month,

Human Rights Watch says "the international community should press for a return to the civilian transition".

It urged security forces in the country to protect the right of civilians to protest and refrain from using lethal force.

The head of the military, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, is expected to address the nation shortly.

Posted at 9:35

Arab League 'concerned' over Sudan's transition

The Arab League has expressed concern over the developments in Sudan after the military detained civilian leaders and ministers in an apparent coup.

It called on the Sudanese parties "to abide by the signed transitional arrangements," according to a statement by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Sudan is an African member of the Arab League.

Posted at 9:08

Khartoum airport shut amid coup reports

Flights to and from Sudan's capital Khartoum have been suspended, amid reports of an ongoing coup.

The Khartoum International Airport has reportedly been been closed and access to it blocked, with military forces reportedly surrounding it.

There has not been any official government announcement on the airport status.

Posted at 8:49

Photos: Mounting tension in Khartoum over coup fears

The Reuters news agency has obtained photos of protesters who gathered on the streets of Khartoum on Monday morning amid reports of a military takeover.

They show angry crowds burning tyres in the streets.

The army and paramilitary have been deployed across the city and are restricting the movement of civilians, Reuters reports.

Posted at 8:16

Soldiers storm state TV headquarters - ministry

Sudan's information ministry says soldiers have stormed the radio and television headquarters in Omdurman near the capital, Khartoum.

It says joint military forces have detained a number of employees there.

Internet has been shut down in the country but images have appeared on social media showing angry crowds burning tyres in the streets.

Posted at 8:12

What we know so far about Sudan’s coup attempt

Sudanese military forces have detained several members of the country’s civilian leadership and put Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest amid reports of a coup.

Here's what what we know so far:

  • The prime minister and at least four ministers are among those believed detained by unidentified soldiers.
  • Heavily armed soldiers have been deployed in the capital, Khartoum, amid angry protesters burning tyres in the streets.
  • Internet has been shut in the capital.
  • There are reports military forces have stormed the state radio and television headquarters in Omdurman city, arresting some employees.
  • The US says it's 'deeply alarmed' by the reports of a military coup

Posted at 7:35

US 'deeply alarmed' by Sudan coup reports

In a tweet, US special envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said any military takeover would be "utterly unacceptable" and "puts at risk US assistance".

Posted at 7:28

Sudan PM asking people to defend revolution - ministry

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is reportedly under house arrest, is asking Sudanese people to continue holding peaceful protests and "defend the revolution", according to a post on Sudan's information ministry Facebook page.

It says joint military forces that earlier detained him in his house have been pressuring him to announce a statement supporting the coup.

After refusing to endorse the coup, the army has now moved the prime minister to an unknown location, it adds in another post.

Posted at 6:59

Why Sudan's military and civilian rulers are at odds

Military and civilian groups have been sharing power since 2019

Sudan's military and civilian leaders have been at odds since they began sharing power in the transitional government set up after the overthrow two years ago of the long-serving military ruler, Omar al-Bashir.

The transitional government - known as the Sovereign Council - was intended to pave the way for elections.

But tensions have grown since September, when a coup attempt attributed to followers of Mr Bashir was foiled.

Last Thursday, thousands of people demonstrated across the country in support of the democratic transition.

But the army's supporters accuse the civilian rulers of being ineffective and ruining the economy.

Posted at 6:21

Heavily armed soldiers deployed in Sudan's capital

Heavily armed soldiers and other security forces have been deployed to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and are restricting movement of civilians in the city.

The AFP news agency reports that uniformed soldiers cut off the main roads leading to the capital.

It comes as protesters gathered on roads to protest against the reported arrest of civilian members of the ruling transitional government, the Reuters news agency adds.

Posted at 5:49

Internet blocked in Sudan amid coup reports

Global internet monitor NetBlocks reports of a significant disruption of internet in Sudan, where there are reports of a possible coup attempt.

It says the disruption is likely to limit the free flow of information online and news coverage of incidents on the ground.

Netblocks says internet connectivity dropped to 34% of normal levels.

Posted at 5:03

Soldiers besiege Sudan PM's house - reports

Image credit AFP. Copyright AFP. The Sudan PM is reportedly under house arrest

Reports are coming in of a possible coup attempt in Sudan.

Local media say unidentified military forces have besieged the home of Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok.

Al Hadath TV reports that troops have arrested four cabinet ministers and one civilian member of the transitional government - the Sovereign Council - citing unidentified sources.

Citing family sources, the Reuters news agency also reports that solders stormed the home of the prime minister's media adviser and arrested him early on Monday.

Source - BBC World Service Africa, LIVE Africa news updates: