World leaders strongly condemn Sudan's military coup

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is under house arrest as military takes over

Smoke and fire on the streets of Khartoum as people took the streets after reports of a coup. Reuters
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Global leaders expressed concern and alarm on Monday as Sudan's military arrested civilian ministers and put Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest.

António Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, issued one of the strongest statements, condemning "the ongoing military coup in Sudan," and calling for the immediate release of Mr Hamdok and his civilian colleagues.

"There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to stand with the people of Sudan," he said in a tweet on Monday.

US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said “the US is deeply alarmed at reports of a military takeover of the transitional government".

“This would contravene the Constitutional Declaration [which outlines the transition] and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Feltman was recently in Sudan to try to defuse tension in the country after a failed coup attempt last month.

The US State Department meanwhile announced it was suspending aid payments to Sudan and warned of wider risks to Washington-Khartoum ties following Monday's coup.

The European Union's foreign policy head Josep Borrell said he had been following events in Sudan with the “utmost concern" and that “the EU calls on all stakeholders and regional partners to put back on track the transition process”.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday joined others in condemning the coup in Sudan and called for the immediate release of Mr Hamdok and civilian members of the government.

Volker Perthes, the UN's special representative for Sudan said “the United Nations is deeply concerned about reports of a continuing coup in Sudan on Monday, and attempts to undermine its political transition”.

The Secretary General of the 22-member Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, urged all parties on Monday to “fully abide” by the constitutional declaration signed in August 2019, which had aimed to pave the way for a transition to civilian rule and democratic elections after long-time autocrat Omar Al Bashir was forced to step down.

“There are no problems that cannot be resolved without dialogue,” Mr Aboul Gheit said after Sudan’s military detained the country’s interim prime minister and Cabinet officials, while protesters poured on to streets of the capital Khartoum.

“It is important to respect all decisions and agreements that were decided upon … refraining from any measures that would disrupt the transitional period and shake stability in Sudan."

Elsewhere in the region, Saudi Arabia said it was following events with "great concern," calling for "restraint, calm and non-escalation".

Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Monday called for the “immediate resumption” of dialogue between Sudan's military and civilians.

The AU suspended Sudan in June 2019 after pro-democracy protesters demanding civilian rule were gunned down outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.

Their membership was reinstated three months later after Mr Hamdok announced the appointment of Sudan's first Cabinet since Mr Al Bashir was ousted.

“The chairperson calls for the immediate resumption of consultations between civilians and military within the framework of the political declaration and the constitutional decree,” Mr Faki wrote in a statement. He expressed “deep dismay” at developments in Sudan.

Mr Faki said “dialogue and consensus” provided the only path towards salvaging Sudan's troubled democratic transition.

He called "for the release of all arrested political leaders and the necessary strict respect of human rights”.

Updated: October 26, 2021, 7:00 AM