Since the Sudanese military under the command of Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan took power through a coup yesterday at dawn, reactions condemning the power grab have started to flow. Sudan's Ministry of Information said that the coup constitutes a crime and called for the immediate release of the kidnapped Prime Minister whilst the USA decided to suspend $700m in aid to Sudan yesterday night.
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that "the United States condemns the actions taken overnight by Sudanese military forces" during a department briefing yesterday. According to the spokesperson, "the arrest of civilian government officials and other political leaders, including Prime Minister Hamdok, undermines the country’s transition to democratic, civilian rule".
"The civilian-led transitional government should be immediately restored. It represents the will of the Sudanese people, as evidenced by the significant peaceful demonstrations of support on October 21st" Price said, referring to the Marches of the Millions.
'El Burhan’s dismissal of government officials and dissolution of government institutions both violate Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration and abandon the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people' – Ned Price
Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) Chairman and SAF Commander in Chief El Burhan’s "dismissal of government officials and dissolution of government institutions both violate Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration and abandon the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people", Price said.
"In light of these developments, the United States is pausing assistance from the $700 million in emergency assistance appropriations of Economic Support Funds for Sudan. Those funds were intended to support the country’s democratic transition as we evaluate the next step for Sudan programming" Price explained.
The government spokesperson further stated that military officials "should immediately release and ensure the safety of all detained political actors, fully restore the civilian-led transitional government, and refrain from any violence against protesters, including the use of live ammunition", as at least seven protesters were killed and over 140 were wounded in after violent military interventions during yesterday's anti-coup demonstrations.
Coup is a crime
Sudan's Ministry of Information published a statement on social media yesterday to say that "the legitimate government in Sudan is headed by Abdallah Hamdok, who was kidnapped together with a number of his ministers by joint military forces". The statement explained that PM Hamdok "has been kidnapped in an unknown location since dawn" yesterday but that he is "still the legitimate transitional authority in the country."
The ministry held the military component "fully responsible for the safety of members of the sovereign and executive government," and demanded "the immediate release of the prime minister and all detained officials."
It also called on the Public Prosecutor to open an immediate investigation "into the violations reported by citizens and the attacks that occurred to a number of male and female students in their university residences."
'All unilateral measures and decisions taken by the military component lack any constitutional basis, violate the law, and are considered a crime' – Sudanese Ministry of Information
The ministry added that "all unilateral measures and decisions taken by the military component lack any constitutional basis, violate the law, and are considered a crime". The statement further called for "the necessity of adhering to the means of peaceful resistance".
The ministry also said that the Government of Sudan welcomes "all stances issued by international and regional organisations, institutions, and groupings" that rejected the military coup, "especially the one by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres".
Many world leaders have condemned the military coup, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron, government members of the UK, Qatar, Ethiopia, and Russia, and spokespersons of the EU, UN and African Union, of which Sudan is a member.
Universities against the coup
Several university committees and unions have issued statements to condemn the coup and support civil disobedience and strikes. The Committee of Staff Members of Sudanese Universities issued a statement yesterday to invite university professors to join an "open comprehensive strike without exception until the return of civilian rule". "We can claim our rights", the statement concluded.
The University of Khartoum Teaching Staff Union also issued a statement condemning the military coup "against the will of our great people who have filled the streets in refusal to any form of military rule".
The union wrote that it "condemns this coup, declares civil disobedience to all faculty members of the university, and calls upon our people to declare comprehensive civil disobedience in all professional and service institutions, except for emergency medical conditions, and invites all Sudanese people to resist the coup in all peaceful ways".