Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was brought home late Tuesday, his office said, after a day of intense international pressure following his removal in a military coup.
Hamdok was “under close surveillance” while other ministers and civilian leaders remained under arrest, his office added, after the army dissolved Sudan’s institutions on Monday. Earlier in the day, the United States had said it would suspend aid over the coup and the EU had threatened to do the same. Meanwhile UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres demanded Hamdok “be released immediately” ahead of an emergency Security Council meeting that began at 2000 GMT. The talks among the top UN powers could produce a joint text condemning the putsch later Tuesday or on Wednesday, a diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said. Before the meeting, Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, said the council “should appeal to stop the violence from all sides.”
The coup comes just over two years into a delicate power-sharing arrangement between the military and civilians after the army’s ousting during enormous street protests in April 2019 of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.
Top General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had earlier vouched for Hamdok’s “good health”, while a military source who requested anonymity said Hamdok had been escorted home, with “security measures” erected “around the perimeter”.
Angry citizens stood their ground on barricaded streets where tyres burned, chanting “No to military rule”, the day after four people were shot dead by security forces, according to a doctors’ group.
And violence against protesters mounted.
“Frenzied putschist forces are attacking protest gatherings in separate parts nationwide,” said the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella of unions which were instrumental in the late 2018-2019 anti-Bashir protests.
It said the “vengeful” attacks followed Hamdok’s release.
Witnesses in the east Khartoum district of Burri said security forces fired tear gas at protesters blocking a main road in opposition to the coup.