An apparent military coup took place in Khartoum, Sudan, on Monday, October 25, after members of Sudan’s cabinet, including the prime minister and a large number of pro-government party leaders were arrested by the military forces.
How did the coup take place?
Multiple government officials and ministers were arrested early in the morning, including ministers of information and industry, as well as the governor of Khartoum due to growing tensions between the military and the civilian government.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest after a military group besieged his house.
Following these events, videos on social media were shared showing thousands of Sudanese protests in the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and the nearby city of Omdurman. Other photos also showed protesters setting fire to tires and blocking streets.
ياخ انتو شنو ياخ!! ياخي انتو شعب شنو ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ pic.twitter.com/hh7mWiz3y7
— فــــارس بــــلال (@FarisBallal) October 25, 2021
Phone and internet services were shut down, a move that was previously made by the Sudanese military during the 2019 revolution.
Viral hashtags such as عصيان_مدني_شامل#”, (Total Civil Disobedience), and “ لا_للانقلاب_العسكري” (No to Military Coup) also began trending on Twitter.
In the afternoon, head of the military, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, appeared on national TV to announce that he was dissolving the government and the Sovereign Council, which is a joint military and civilian body that serves as a transitional government. The military closed all bridges and blocked all main roads leading to Khartoum.
The previously mentioned events have alarmed governments and organizations worldwide, as Jeffrey Feltman, the US special envoy to the Horn of Africa, said Washington was “deeply alarmed” by the reports.
This comes days after Feltman met with Sudanese officials over the weekend to resolve the dispute between civilian and military leaders.
Why did this coup take place?
Tensions have been growing between Sudan’s civilian and military leadership since 2019, as the two groups are supposed to be working together for a smooth transition to form a new government through a joint committee known as the Sovereign Council.
The military has accused the civilian parties of poor management, and a new coalition of rebel groups and political parties were formed with the armed forces that are seeking to dissolve the civilian cabinet.
Several failed coup attempts have taken place since 2019, and the most recent one occurring last month, as authorities said in September that they had foiled an attempted coup.
There have also been disagreements between the two groups regarding an investigation into the killings of pro-democracy protesters on June 3, 2019. Civilian groups have expressed anger at the delays in making the investigation’s findings public.
What were the reactions?
In a statement, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed on the importance of achieving stability and security for the Sudanese people, and for all parties to deal with current challenges in a manner that guarantees safety.
The Arab League Secretary General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said in a statement that he is “deeply concerned” about the developments in Sudan, and that all Sudanese parties should fully abide by the constitutional document signed in August 2019 with the involvement of the international community and the Arab League, as well as the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement.
The African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat also said that Sudan’s political leaders should be released and human rights respected.
French President Emmanuel Macron also said on Twitter that he “strongly condemns the coup attempt in Sudan. I express my support to Sudan’s transition government and call for the immediate release and the respect of the integrity of the Prime Minister and civilian members of the government.”