Middle East/North Africa

Sudan general says prime minister detained for his own safety

Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's military, said the day after a coup in the country that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is being detained for his own safety at Burhan's home.

Burhan added in a televised news conference that the prime minister is in good health and would be released either "today or tomorrow," according to The Associated Press.

The general announced Monday that the military had dissolved Sudan's transitional civilian-military government, which was established in 2019 after a popular revolution overthrew a 30-year military dictatorship. The move drew swift international condemnation.

Hamdok and other senior government officials were detained, leading to thousands of people demonstrating in the streets. The capital city of Khartoum was locked down amid the protests, which have included at least four deaths.

Hours before the coup, U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman met with political and military leaders of the transitional government to express support for a transition to a fully civilian-led government.

U.S. officials said Monday that they were alarmed by the military's actions, calling for the release of Hamdok and other arrested officials.

Tuesday's news conference was Burhan's second public appearance since seizing power, the AP reported.

During the briefing, he said the whole country had been "deadlocked due to political rivalries."

"The experience during the past two years has proven that the participation of political forces in the transitional period is flawed and stirs up strife," Burhan reportedly said.

He further accused some of the detained officials of trying to incite a rebellion within the military, adding that those officials would face trial. Others who are "innocent" would be freed, he said.

Hamdok's office issued a statement after Burhan's comments expressing concerns about the safety of other officials who were detained, the AP reported. His statement didn't say where he was being detained.

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