Government officials detained, phones down in possible Sudan coup

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Cairo, oct. 25 (BNA):  Military forces detained at least five senior Sudanese government figures on Monday, officials said, as the country’s main group called on people to take to the streets to counter an apparent military coup.

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, a group leading demands for a transition to democracy, also said there were internet and phone signal outages across the country.

A possible takeover by the military would be a major setback for Sudan, which has grappled with a transition to democracy since long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled by mass protests, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

Monday’s arrests come after weeks of rising tensions between Sudan’s civilian and military leaders. A failed coup attempt in September fractured the country along old lines, pitting more-conservative Islamists who want a military government against those who toppled al-Bashir more than two years ago in mass protests. In recent days, both camps have taken to the street in demonstrations.

The arrests of the five government figures were confirmed by two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The whereabouts of  Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok  were not immediately clear, amid media reports that security forces were stationed outside his home in Khartoum. Photos circulating online showed men in uniform standing in the dark, allegedly near his home.

Ayman Khalid, governor of the state containing the capital, Khartoum, was also arrested, according to the official Facebook page of his office.

The arrests followed meetings the U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman had with Sudanese military and civilian leaders Saturday and Sunday in efforts to resolve the dispute. Sudan’s state news website highlighted the meetings with military officials.

 

RAE