Sudan’s opposition coalition urges civil disobedience after military power seizure

2021-10-26 12:51:17
Sudan’s opposition coalition urges civil disobedience after military power seizure

Sudan’s main opposition coalition has called for civil disobedience and protests across the central African country after the military dissolved of the transitional government on Monday.

The Sudanese Information Ministry said on Monday that the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance had demanded that the transitional military council step down and transfer power back to the civilian government.

The alliance also called for the release of all detained members of the Sudanese cabinet and the Sovereign Council, a ruling body that had shared power between the military and civilians until it was dissolved by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan earlier in the day, the ministry said on its Facebook account.

In a televised speech on Monday, Burhan declared a state of emergency and vowed to form what he called a competent government after unidentified military forces arrested a number of political leaders, including Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

Several members of the country’s civilian leadership were also taken into custody, among them Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Baloul, and media adviser to the prime minister, Faisal Mohammed Saleh.

The information ministry also announced that Burhan had effectively staged a “military coup” after declaring a state of emergency and dissolving the government.

The ministry also said Hamdok had been detained and moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the takeover.

Last week, Sudanese protesters rallied near the presidential palace in Khartoum demanding the dissolution of the transitional government.

Pro-military demonstrators carried banners calling for the dismissal of the government, while some claimed that the transitional administration had “failed” politically and economically.

Crisis-stricken Sudan has been embroiled in a longstanding political crisis since the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, driven mostly by deteriorating economic woes.

The transitional government has time and again pledged to fix the economy battered by decades of corruption, internal conflicts, and international sanctions.

But support for the government has waned in recent months amid a tough package of IMF-backed economic reforms, including slashing of fuel subsidies and a managed float of the Sudanese pound.

Military coups in African countries, which have increased significantly in recent years, are the most important legacy of the Western colonial powers.

In their grab for influence and resources, colonial powers drew artificial borders across the Middle East and Africa, often arbitrarily splitting traditional tribal territories into new states.

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