Sudan: Abdalla Hamdok returned to home, remains under guard

Hentet fra  Al Jazeera  27.10.2021
Deposed civilian leader remains under ‘heavy security’ as state oil workers join anti-coup civil disobedience campaign.

Abdalla Hamdok and his wife were under ‘heavy security’ at their home in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, according to his office [File: Hannibal Hanschke/ Reuters]

Abdalla Hamdok, the deposed prime minister of Sudan, has been allowed to return home, according to his office, a day after the country’s military detained him after seizing power in a coup.

The release of Hamdok and his wife on Tuesday followed international condemnation of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s power grab. The United States had said it would suspend aid, while the European Union had threatened to do the same.

Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, had also demanded Hamdok’s immediate release as he urged world powers to unite to confront what he called a recent “epidemic of coups d’etat”.

The statement by Hamdok’s office said the deposed prime minister and his wife were under “heavy security” at their home in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and that other civilian officials arrested on the day of the coup remained in detention, their locations unknown.

The takeover came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and pace of Sudan’s transition to democracy. Al- Burhan was supposed to hand the leadership of the Sovereign Council that runs the country to a civilian next month – a step that would have decreased the military’s hold on power.

But the coup has threatened to derail Sudan’s transitional process, which has progressed in fits and starts since the overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago.

On Tuesday, pro-democracy demonstrators returned to the streets, blocking roads in the capital with makeshift barricades and burning tires. Troops had fired on crowds a day earlier, killing four protesters, according to doctors.

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, a group of unions that was behind the uprising against al-Bashir, also urged people to go on strike and engage in civil disobedience. Separately, the Sudan Popular Liberation Movement–North, the country’s main rebel group, denounced the coup and called for people to take to the streets.

Sudan’s national petroleum company, Sudapet, responded on Wednesday to the call saying it will join the nationwide civil disobedience movement. Rail workers also said they will join the strike.

‘Epidemic of coups’

Earlier in the day, al-Burhan made his second appearance since the coup, saying the military had been forced to step in to avoid civil war.

The general said Hamdok had been held for his safety, at his own home, and would be released.

But of the many other senior government officials detained Monday, al-Burhan alleged that some tried to incite a rebellion within the armed forces, saying they would face trial. Others who are found “innocent” would be freed, he added.