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State of emergency declared in Sudan, government dissolved after military coup and PM arrest

In a statement delivered on Monday, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of a Sovereign Council of military and civilian members which runs the country, declared a state of emergency and dissolved the government.

Following the arrest of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials by troops, Burhan stated that the military would oversee the remainder of Sudan’s transition to democracy and will hand over to a democratically elected government.

Burhan, himself a military officer, vowed to ensure that elections would take place in July 2023. The Sovereign Council had been tasked with overseeing a four-year transition to democracy after long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was removed from power in 2019 in the wake of months of civil unrest and protests.

The council leader claimed he was forced to act following months of infighting between military and civilian leaders, while some calls from politicians amounted to incitement to violence. 

Burhan asserted that he would create the proper conditions for political parties to reach elections and insisted that the military was needed to oversee the process and ensure the country’s security and safety.

The declaration also sees state governors removed and the appointment of general managers as the caretakers for their respective ministries; the anti-corruption task force will also be suspended. In place of the government, Burhan announced the formation of a revolutionary parliament of youth.

In a Facebook post, the Information Ministry, which has been loyally posting on behalf of the ousted government since the prime minister’s arrest before dawn, said Burhan’s remarks were confirmation that power had been seized by a military coup. They also condemned the suspension of work by an independent commission into a 2019 massacre in Khartoum.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Sudan on Monday following Hamdok’s arrest. The Information Ministry claimed that troops had fired on protesters in the capital and its twin city of Omdurman. At least 12 people have been injured in clashes according to the doctors’ committee, which posted on its Facebook page.

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