Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok was brought home Tuesday evening and remains “under enhanced surveillance” in the aftermath of a coup led by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and contested by demonstrators who again came under fire from tear gas canisters.
While the Sudanese, who came out en masse to try to relaunch a post-dictatorship transition that was brutally interrupted Monday morning, keep asking for help from the international community, the UN Security Council has given up denouncing the putsch “in the strongest terms, “a diplomat told AFP.
At the same time, recalls the office of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, who had just returned with his wife to her home, “several ministers and political leaders are still under arrest in unknown places”, while witnesses reported to the ‘AFP that the security forces fired tear gas canisters at demonstrators.
General Burhane had tried to reassure Tuesday by ensuring that the head of government – which he dissolved on Monday – was at his own home, but faced with incessant calls from many capitals, he seemed to give in in the evening.
– “No to military power!” –
The demonstrators do not budge, they want all the civil transitional authorities to be reinstated. They therefore continue to block by the thousands the main axes of Khartoum under a swarm of Sudanese flags and cries of “No to military power!”.
Opposite, the security forces, according to activists, arrested several leaders of political parties, attacked students on the campus of the University of Khartoum and fired tear gas canisters to disperse demonstrators in the bustling district of Bourri, in the east of the capital.
While the worst-case scenario is in everyone’s mind, two years after the revolt against the autocrat Omar al-Bashir which ended in more than 250 deaths, “a use of force would not only lead to a bath of blood “, warns the International Crisis group,” it could also lead to a prolonged face-to-face meeting which would close the door to the resolution of the crisis “.
Already on Monday, four demonstrators had been killed by gunfire, according to a pro-democracy doctors’ union, and more than 80 injured, on the first day of a condemned coup in the West, which cost this poor country ‘East Africa crucial American aid and could cause it to lose European financial support.
After the proclamation of “civil disobedience”, the demonstrators want, they say, “to save” the revolution which in 2019 overthrew the Bashir regime, which fell under pressure from the streets and the army.
“We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is reinstalled,” Hocham al-Amine, 32, an engineer told AFP.
– Aid at risk –
At a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday, General Burhane, Sudan’s new strongman, defended his coup and the army, saying he acted because “some were attacking the army”, “an essential component of the transition. “.
In this explosive context, flights to and from Khartoum airport were suspended until Saturday.
Stuck for two years in a transition that was nipped in the bud, Sudan is now plunged into the unknown, when the fall of the Bashir regime and the signing of agreements with the rebels had led to believe in a solution after decades of crises .
After the coup, the United States announced Monday the suspension of 700 million dollars in aid to Khartoum. And on Tuesday, the European Union threatened to withhold financial support if the military did not hand over power immediately.
The UN chief Antonio Guterres, for his part, denounced the “military leaders (who) consider that they have total impunity, that they can do what they want because nothing will happen to them”.
– “People’s embassies” –
On Tuesday, Sudanese ambassadors in Paris, Brussels and Geneva (Switzerland) denounced the coup and proclaimed their embassies as those of “the people and their revolution”.
For demonstrators and experts, the possibility of a return to the unchallenged reign of the military is more realistic than ever.
Only Moscow saw in the coup “the logical result of a failed policy” accompanied by “extensive foreign interference”, in a country where Russians, Turks, Americans and even Saudis compete for influence, especially on the ports of the Red Sea, strategic for their fleets.