Sudan general: The PM is held in a coup for his safety

The ruling general of Sudan suggested Tuesday that certain members of the coup-detailed government could be tried. However, he said that the deposed prime minster was being held to his safety and would likely be freed soon.

Sudan general: The PM is held in a coup for his safety

Pro-democracy protestors took to the streets once more after the military seized power, a move widely condemned by the international community. They blocked roads in the capital with barricades and set fire to tires.

After weeks of growing tensions between civilian and military leaders about the direction and pace of Sudan's democratic transition, the takeover was completed. It could derail the process that has been moving slowly since Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a popular revolt two years ago.

At a later meeting, the Security Council of the United Nations was scheduled to discuss the Sudan situation, which is a country in Africa that is linked through language and culture with the Arab world.

General Abdel-Fattah Burhan made his second public appearance since he took power. He stated Tuesday that the military had to intervene to solve a political crisis which he claimed could have lead to civil war. The coup happened less than a month after Burhan was to give the Sovereign Council's leadership to a civilian, a move that would have reduced the military's power.

Burhan stated that the country was stuck because of political rivalries during a televised news conference. "The past two years have shown that political participation in the transitional period has been flawed and has caused strife."

Burhan claimed that some of the senior government officials who were detained Monday in Monday's coup tried to incite rebellion within the armed force. He said they would be brought before a judge. He said that others who were found "innocent", would be released.

The general stated that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was being held at Burhan’s house and was in good health. He said that Abdalla Hamdok would be released today or tomorrow.

Soon after Burhan's speech, Hamdok's Office issued a statement expressing concern about the safety and well-being of the premier, as well as other detained officials. The location of the politician being held was not mentioned in the statement.

The statement charged the military leaders with acting in concert and Islamists. These politicians have advocated for a military government as well as other politicians associated to al-Bashir’s National Congress Party. This party was disbanded in 2019.

The U.N. and Western governments have condemned the coup, and called for Hamdok's release. The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden announced that $700 million in emergency aid to Sudan was suspended.

Mariam al-Mahdi was the foreign minister of the government that was dissolved by the military. She declared that she and other Hamdok members remained the legitimate authorities in Sudan.

"We remain in our positions. She said that she rejected such coups and unconstitutional measures. "We will continue to peacefully resist and disobey."

The Sudan's Ministry of Culture and Information said Tuesday in a Facebook post that three of its ambassadors in France, Switzerland, and Belgium had defected.

Nureldin Satti was the Sudanese ambassador to the U.S. He said that he was working alongside diplomats to "resist military coup in support for the heroic struggle of Sudanese people to achieve the aspirations of the uprising against al Bashir." He did not say whether he had also defected.

Al-Mahdi spoke with Khalid Omar's wife and stated that he was mistreated and humiliated during his arrest.

She said, "They (military force) took Khalid naked wearing only his nightclothes,"

Hours after the arrests were made, Sudanese protestors flooded Khartoum's streets. According to the Sudan Doctors’ Committee, at least four people were killed in clashes with security forces and more than 80 were injured.

The world and the country are now watching to see if violence escalates. In 2019, the nation saw a brutal crackdown on protestors who wanted to be part of the democratic process. On Tuesday morning, some protestors remained on the streets with many roads blocked. The protesters are planning a mass march on Saturday to demand civilian rule. This will be a bigger test of the military's response to resistance.

Overnight, troops from the military and the fearsome Rapid Support Forces swept Khartoum's neighborhoods, chasing protesters. Human Rights Watch, an international group, said that forces used live ammunition against protesters.

Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary-of-State, called for an immediate halt in violence against protesters as well as the restoration of internet service. He stated that the U.S. is working with partners to create a common diplomatic approach to these actions to avoid them leading to instability in Sudan and other parts of the region.

Burhan disbanded the Hamdok government on Monday and the Sovereign Council on Tuesday. These bodies were created shortly after al-Bashir was ousted to lead the country. Burhan now leads a military council, which he claimed would govern Sudan until the 2023 elections.

General said that he is committed to holding elections on time. There could be a lot of things in the next 19 months and it isn't clear if the military would be open to letting go of its decades-old grip.

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, a union group that was behind the revolt against al-Bashir's regime, encouraged people to strike and take part in civil disobedience. Separately, Sudan Popular Liberation Movement North, the main rebel group in the country, condemned the coup and called on people to go to the streets.

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