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Top Sudanese general: Detained PM is being held at my home for his safety

Sudan's top general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, speaks during a press conference at the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum, on October 26, 2021. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)
Sudan's top general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, speaks during a press conference at the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum, on October 26, 2021. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)

CAIRO — Sudan’s ruling general suggests that some members of the government he dissolved in a coup could face trial but says that the deposed prime minister is being held for his own safety and will likely be released soon.

A day after the military seized power in a move widely denounced by the international community, pro-democracy protesters take to the streets again, blocking roads in the capital with makeshift barricades and burning tires.

The takeover came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and the pace of Sudan’s transition to democracy. It threatened to derail that process, which has progressed in fits and starts since the overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago.

The United Nations Security Council is to discuss the situation in a closed-door meeting later in the day.

In his second public appearance since seizing power, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan says today that the military was forced to step in to resolve a growing political crisis.

“The whole country was deadlocked due to political rivalries,” he tells a televised news conference. “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.”

Of the slew of senior government officials detained in yesterday’s coup, some tried to incite a rebellion within the armed forces, Burhan alleges, and they will face trial. Others who are found “innocent” will be freed, he says.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is being held at Burhan’s own home, the general says, and he’s in good health. He adds that the politician will be released “today or tomorrow.”

Earlier reports were that Hamdok and others in his transitional government were being held at a military camp outside Khartoum.

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