Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sudan security tightening grip as international pressure bites



Sudan security tightening grip as international pressure bites

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Anti-coup protesters clash with security forces in Khartoum. AFP

Sudan security tightening grip as international pressure bites

Sudanese security forces on October 27 made sweeping arrests of protesters as they sought to extinguish opposition to this week’s military coup, while the international community ramped up punitive measures.

The World Bank froze aid and the African Union (AU) suspended Sudan over October 25’s power grab by the army, just over two years into what is meant to be a transition to civilian rule after the April 2019 ouster of autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Hundreds of protesters were seen throwing rocks at security forces dismantling street barricades in Khartoum’s eastern district of Burri, according to an AFP correspondent.

In the capital’s north, security personnel fired tear gas and rubber bullets at dozens of protesters.

“Police forces have removed all the barricades since Wednesday [October 27] morning and arrested all the people who stood near them,” said Hady Bashir, a protester.

Late on October 27, the information ministry – still loyal to the deposed government – said security forces were tightening their control of the capital.

“Neighbourhoods and streets have been blockaded by armoured vehicles and men carrying rifles,” it said in a statement, alleging also that “women were dragged” to the ground.

“All security on the streets now look like the Bashir-era forces,” lamented one protester, Hanaa Hassan.

Top General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s dissolution of the government and declaration of a state of emergency on October 25 has provoked strong reactions far beyond the country’s borders.

On October 27, the AU called the coup “unconstitutional” and suspended the country’s membership of the bloc.

The World Bank later put its aid on hold, in a major blow to a country that only recently unlocked funds from the lender and its sister institution the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after decades under sanctions during Bashir’s rule.

The US has also paused $700 million in funding and the EU has threatened to follow suit.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on October 27 he spoke with deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and reiterated support for a civilian-led transition.

Hamdok was detained by the military in sweeping arrests of civilian leaders on October 25, but was allowed home on October 26 as major donors demanded his release.

But UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on October 27 that the prime minister was “not free” and confined to his residence, after Volker Perthes, the UN’s Special Representative for Sudan, met with both Hamdok and Burhan.

Other ministers and civilian leaders remain under full military arrest.

A joint statement by the US, EU, UK and other nations emphasised their continued recognition of the “prime minister and his cabinet as the constitutional leaders of the transitional government”.

The UN Security Council, however, struggled on October 27 to agree a joint statement on Sudan’s crisis. Russia opposed a strong condemnation of the military’s power grab, according to diplomats.

Russia’s deputy representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said negotiations were continuing, and described the matter as “very delicate”.

Meanwhile, the Saudi ambassador to Khartoum called for “consensus between political forces” in a meeting with Burhan October 27 over the “current political situation”, according to a statement by the Sudanese armed forces.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,