KHARTOUM, Sudan — The U.S. government has responded to reports that a possible military coup is unfolding in Sudan, which has been grappling with a transition to democracy in the wake of the 2019 ouster of its former autocratic leader, Omar al-Bashir.
In a statement early Monday, U.S. Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said officials are “deeply alarmed at reports of a military takeover of the transitional government” in the northeast African nation.
“This would contravene the Constitutional Declaration and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people and is utterly unacceptable,” read the statement posted by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs’ official Twitter account. “As we have said repeatedly, any changes to the transitional government by force puts at risk U.S. assistance.”
According to The Associated Press, the statement came as Sudan’s information ministry said military forces had detained key Sudanese officials in an apparent coup attempt.
“Internet service was cut off from mobile phone networks, and bridges were closed by military forces,” the ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
About 8 a.m. Sudan time, the ministry said military forces had placed interim Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok under house arrest and were pressuring him “to make a pro-coup statement,” according to a Facebook post. But minutes later, the ministry wrote that Hamdok instead asked pro-democracy Sudanese “to hold on to peace and occupy the streets to defend their revolution.” Following his refusal to endorse the coup, military forces arrested Hamdok and “transferred him to an unknown location,” the ministry added.
Military forces also have “stormed the radio and television headquarters in Omdurman,” where they “detained a number of employees,” the ministry wrote shortly before 9 a.m. local time.
No further information was immediately available.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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