HRW warns Military takeover a blow for Sudanese

Sudanese soldiers block the road for taking precautions after a failed coup attempt in Khartoum, Sudan [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

The Human Rights Watch says a military coup in Sudan strikes a major blow to the hopes that many walks of life had that a transition to a fairer and rights-abiding country was possible.

At Human Rights Watch, Sudanese researcher Mohamed Osman said in the early hours that security forces in Sudan’s capital Khartoum rounded up at least five ministers, advisors to the prime ministers, and other political figures. Military forces also had placed prime minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest before reportedly moving him to an unknown location.

Communication service the internet connectivity is currently severely disrupted and airport closed. Protests are now taking place in different parts of the capital Khartoum against the military takeover amidst heavy deployment of military forces.

Audrey Kawire Wabwire, Media Manager at HRW, called on the security forces to protect the protesters.

“The pro-democracy protesters take to the streets; security forces should protect their fundamental right to protest and refrain from using lethal force as has too often been the go-to response. The international community should press for a return to the civilian transition,” Kawire said.

According to BBC reports, a statement from the information ministry on Facebook said the detentions were carried out by “joint military forces,” and those arrested were held in “an unidentified location.”

The ministry said soldiers had stormed the HQ of the state broadcaster in Omdurman and detained staff there.

It also said Mr. Hamdok was being pressed to support a coup but refused to do so, and he urged people to continue with peaceful protests to “defend the revolution.”

The United States said is “deeply alarmed” by the coup reports, its special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said. The UN, EU, and Arab League also expressed deep concern.

South Sudan mediated a deal between the transitional government of Sudan and Darfur rebel groups that were signed in Juba last year.

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