US President Joe Biden on Thursday denounced the military coup in Sudan after the UN Security Council expressed “serious concern” over last weekend’s removal of the civilian wing of the transitional government.
Mr Biden referred to the takeover as a “grave setback” and called on Sudanese military authorities to restore the “civilian-led transitional government".
“I urge Sudan’s military leaders to immediately release all those detained and restore the institutions associated with the transitional government in line with the 2019 constitutional declaration and the 2020 Juba peace agreement,” he said.
“Then, with the support of the international community, I believe all parties in Sudan can reclaim a shared vision for completing Sudan’s transition to democracy.”
He added that the US strongly believes in Sudan’s economic potential “if the military and those who oppose change do not hold it back".
The US on Monday paused payments of up to $700 million in emergency economic support for Sudan following last weekend’s coup.
The Sudanese military government, led by Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, released the detained head of the civilian government, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, on Wednesday only to place him under house arrest.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday spoke with Mr Hamdok by phone after he returned home. He welcomed Mr Hamdok’s release but called on the Sudanese military authorities to release all civilian leaders who remain in detention.
Nonetheless, Gen Al Burhan continued his crackdown on Thursday, arresting activists, firing Sudanese ambassadors stationed abroad and forcing news media employees out of their offices.
Sudanese security forces also clashed with protesters in Khartoum on Wednesday, firing rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators.