Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup

Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup
1 / 6
Sudanese protesters flash victory signs and lift national flags as they demonstrate in the capital Khartoum to denounce overnight detentions by the military. (AFP)
Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup
2 / 6
Sudanese protesters burn tires to block a road in Khartoum amid reports of a military coup. (AFP)
Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup
3 / 6
Sudanese protesters put up road blocks in Khartoum amid reports of a military coup. (AFP)
Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup
4 / 6
People gather around as smoke and fire are seen on the streets of Kartoum, Sudan amid reports of a coup on Oct. 25, 2021 in this still image from video obtained via social media. (RASD Sudan Network via Reuters)
Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup
5 / 6
People gather around as smoke and fire are seen on the streets of Kartoum, Sudan amid reports of a coup on Oct. 25, 2021 in this still image from video obtained via social media. (RASD Sudan Network via Reuters)
Demonstrators protest against prospect of military rule in Khartoum, Sudan, on Oct. 21, 2021. Their fears have been justified on Monday. (Reuters)
6 / 6
Demonstrators protest against prospect of military rule in Khartoum, Sudan, on Oct. 21, 2021. Their fears have been justified on Monday. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 26 October 2021

Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup

Sudan general declares state of emergency after military coup
  • Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Sudan calls for immediate release of detained politicians
  • General says military will remain until transition of power after elections in 2023

RIYADH/KHARTOUM/CAIRO: Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the head of the Sovereign Council, on Monday declared a state of emergency in Sudan and announced the dissolution of the Sovereign Council and the transitional government following a military coup.

In a televised address, Burhan said the ongoing struggle between the transition partners was threatening the country’s safety and security and that the military needed to step in to protect it.

The military will continue with the democratic transition until the handover to a civilian-elected government once elections are held in July 2023, Burhan said.

But the Sudanese Forces of Freedom and Change Alliance said it was calling for “total civil disobedience” in response to the declaration of a state of emergency.

The alliance is a coalition of civilian and rebel coalitions within the country, that was created in January 2019 during the 2018–19 protests.

Several people were earlier reported injured during clashes outside the Sudanese army headquarters after large crowds took to the streets on Monday to protest against a military coup deposing the government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Army General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan addressed the Sudanese people on Oct. 25, 2021, declaring a nationwide state of emergency. (AFP)

The coup comes despite an earlier agreement Hamdok reached with the head of the country’s ruling council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, in the presence of US special envoy Jeffrey Feltman, Adam Harik told the Dubai-based channel.

Sudan’s information ministry said joint military forces detained civilian members of the country’s ruling body and a number of ministers within the transitional government.

“Civilian members of the transitional sovereign council and a number of ministers from the transitional government have been detained by joint military forces,” the ministry said in a statement on Facebook. “They have been led to an unidentified location.”

The ministry also said that the transitional constitution gives only the prime minister the right to declare state of emergency and that the military’s actions are a crime.
The ministry added, on its Facebook page, that Hamdok’s government is still the legitimate transitional authority.
The ministry said the government welcomed the positions taken by the UN Secretary-General, the African Union, and the Arab League, lauding what it described as their rejection of a military coup.

The military action has also sparked international concern, the Arab League warned against any measures that might shake stability in Sudan, TV news channel Al-Arabiya reported.

Sudan’s political leaders should be released and human rights respected, the African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement on Monday.

 

 

Thousands marched on Khartoum as the military coup took a hold of power.

Faki also added talks should be resumed between the military and the civilian wing of the trasnsitional government.

The head of the PM’s office Harik said they knew the coup would take place six weeks ago.

“The military establishment does not want to fulfill its obligations to hand over power,” he told Al-Arabiya during his phone interview.

Feltman met with Sudanese military and civilian leaders Saturday and Sunday in efforts to resolve a growing dispute.

In a video shared on social media, what appears to be gunshots can be heard as protesters continued their demonstrations.

Sudan’s Stat News website highlighted the meetings with military officials.

International reaction

Calling for calm, Saudi Arabia said it was following developments in Sudan with concern and called for a de-escalation in the current troubles and restraint.

The statement from the Kingdom continued, calling for the political and economic gains in Sudan to be preserved, adding that it continued in its support for the Sudanese people to achieve security and stability.

Volker Perthes, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Sudan said: “I am deeply concerned about reports of an ongoing coup and attempts to undermine Sudan’s political transition.  The reported detentions of the Prime Minister, government officials and politicians are unacceptable. 

“I call on the security forces to immediately release those who have been unlawfully detained or placed under house arrest. It is the responsibility of these forces to ensure the security and wellbeing of people in their custody. 

“I urge all parties to exercise utmost restraint.  All parties must immediately return to dialogue and engage in good faith to restore the constitutional order.”

The US suspended $700 million in aid to Sudan after the military takeover and urged the immediate restoration of a civilian government.
“The civilian-led transitional government should be immediately restored and represents the will of the people,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“In light of these developments, the United States is pausing assistance,” Price said.
He said that the suspension concerned a $700 million package in economic support meant to assist Sudan’s democratic transition.
“We are pausing that full amount,” Price said.
“We are very much standing with the people of Sudan. The people of Sudan have made clear their aspirations for the continuation of transition to democracy and we will continue to support that including, if needed, by holding accountable those responsible for these anti-democratic actions.”
Price said that the US received no prior knowledge of the military’s intention to oust Hamdok and has not been able to make contact with the detained civilian leader.

The British envoy to Sudan voiced Britain’s concern over the arrest of members of the government and the German foreign ministry called for an immediate end to the coup.

Meanwhile a UN official said they were also “deeply concerned” by the ongoing coup.

The US has expressed alarm at reports of a military takeover of the transitional government in Sudan.

On the official Twitter account of the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, Feltman warned the military takeover would contravene Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration and put at risk US assistance to the country.

“The US is deeply alarmed at reports of a military take-over of the transitional government,” Feltman said.

“This would contravene the Constitutional Declaration (which outlines the transition) and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people,” he said, according to a statement on Twitter.

(AFP)

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been placed under house arrest and moved to an unidentified location with his wife.

Al Hadath TV earlier reported four cabinet ministers and a member of Sudan’s Sovereign Council  were among those arrested.

One of those arrested was Ali Al-Rayh Al-Sanhouri, secretary-general of the Sudanese Baath Party, Al-Sharq reported, quoting unnamed sources.

Multiple high profile arrests made

The report said Council of Sovereignty member Mohammed Al-Jawki was also under arrest, along with Minister of Cabinet Affairs Khaled Omar Yusuf.

Men in military uniform cut off the main roads leading to the capital, and state television was broadcasting patriotic songs.

There was no immediate comment from the military.

The Khartoum airport was shut and international flights were suspended, Al-Arabiya reported.

There was no announcement from the Sudanese government on the status of the airport.

Military forces also stormed the Sudanese radio and television headquarters in Omdurman and arrested employees, the information ministry said on its Facebook page.

Reacting to the developments, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, Sudan’s main pro-democratic political group, called on people to take to the streets to counter an apparent military coup. 

The association also said there were Internet and phone signal outages in the country.

Since August 2019, the country has been led by a civilian-military administration tasked with overseeing the transition to full civilian rule.

The main civilian bloc – the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) – which led the anti-Bashir protests in 2019, has splintered into two opposing factions.

“The crisis at hand is engineered – and is in the shape of a creeping coup,” mainstream FFC leader Yasser Arman had told the Saturday press conference in Khartoum.

“We renew our confidence in the government, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and reforming transitional institutions – but without dictations or imposition,” Arman added.

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 autocratic former ruler Omar Al-Bashir in mass protests. In recent days, both camps have taken to the street in demonstrations.

Last week, several cabinet ministers took part in big protests in several parts of the Khartoum and other cities against the prospect of military rule.

The military head of the Sovereign Council has previously asserted his commitment to the transition.

(With agencies and additional reporting by Ephrem Kossaify)


US-led anti-Daesh coalition ends Iraq combat mission: Baghdad

US-led anti-Daesh coalition ends Iraq combat mission: Baghdad
Updated 3 sec ago

US-led anti-Daesh coalition ends Iraq combat mission: Baghdad

US-led anti-Daesh coalition ends Iraq combat mission: Baghdad
  • Daesh established a so-called caliphate across swathes of Syria and Iraq from 2014 but was defeated in Iraq in 2017 by the multinational coalition

BAGHDAD: The US-led coalition against Daesh group jihadists has finished its combat mission in Iraq and will shift to a training and advisory role, Iraq’s national security adviser said Thursday.
The change of the mission for around 2,500 US troops stationed in the war-battered country by the end of the year was first announced in July by President Joe Biden, during a Washington visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhemi.
The Iraqi government has been under pressure from powerful pro-Iranian political groups with armed wings that have vehemently demanded all US troops leave the country.
“We are officially announcing the end of the coalition forces’ combat mission,” national security adviser Qassem Al-Aaraji wrote on Twitter.
“The relationship with the international coalition continues in the areas of training, advising and capacity building” of Iraqi forces, he added.
Aaraji was speaking after a meeting between the coalition and the Joint Operations commanders of the Iraqi security forces.
In effect, the about 2,500 US and 1,000 coalition troops deployed in Iraq will remain there. They have been acting as advisers and trainers since mid-2020.
Daesh established a so-called caliphate across swathes of Syria and Iraq from 2014 but was defeated in Iraq in 2017 by the multinational coalition.
Iraqi interior ministry media official General Saad Maan told a news conference on Thursday that “the coalition will have completely finished the transition to a non-combat mission before the end of the year.”
He was quoting what the coalition commander, Major General John W. Brennan Jr., said during the meeting.
The Hashed Al-Shaabi, a former coalition of Iraqi paramilitary groups now integrated into the regular forces, an influential political player and ally of Tehran, is particularly virulent about the departure of American troops.
On social networks, groups close to pro-Iranian factions have been issuing threats and reminding Washington of a December 31 deadline set to demand a full US withdrawal.
In recent months, dozens of rocket and drone attacks have targeted American troops and interests in Iraq. Never claimed, these attacks are systematically blamed by the United States on pro-Iranian Iraqi factions.


Israel closes probe of police who shot Palestinian attacker

Israel closes probe of police who shot Palestinian attacker
Updated 15 min 23 sec ago

Israel closes probe of police who shot Palestinian attacker

Israel closes probe of police who shot Palestinian attacker
  • Video footage showed a paramilitary Border Police officer shooting the attacker when he was already lying on the ground
  • The incident came amid an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank

TEL AVIV: Israel’s Justice Ministry said Thursday it was closing an investigation into two police officers who shot dead a Palestinian assailant as he lay on the ground, accepting the officers’ assertion that they acted in self-defense.
A Palestinian attacker on Saturday stabbed and wounded an ultra-Orthodox Jew outside Jerusalem’s Old City. He then tried to stab the officers before being shot and falling to the ground. Video footage showed a paramilitary Border Police officer shooting the attacker when he was already lying on the ground.
The shooting prompted calls for an investigation and drew comparisons to a 2016 incident in which an Israeli soldier was caught on camera shooting a wounded Palestinian attacker who was lying on the ground.
The Justice Ministry said it made its decision to close the case following the questioning of the two officers, who said they acted in self-defense.
“It was an incident that took place over mere seconds, in circumstances in which there was a real and concrete threat to the lives of the fighters and the civilians in the area,” it said in a statement. “It was found to be legally justified to use a weapon.”
The incident came amid an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. On Wednesday, an Israeli woman was stabbed and lightly wounded in a tense neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The suspect, a Palestinian female minor, fled the scene and was later arrested inside a nearby school, police said.
Last month, a Hamas militant opened fire in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing one Israeli and wounding four others before being fatally shot by police.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 war along with the West Bank and Gaza. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and considers the entire city its capital. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, to include the West Bank and Gaza.
Palestinians and Israeli rights groups say Israeli security forces sometimes use excessive force in response to attacks, killing suspected assailants who could have been arrested or who posed no immediate threat to security forces.
Rights groups also say Israel rarely holds members of its security forces accountable for the deadly shootings of Palestinians. Investigations often end with no charges or lenient sentences, and in many cases witnesses are not summoned for questioning.
Israel says its security forces make every effort to avoid harming civilians and that it investigates alleged abuses.
In the widely publicized 2016 case, Israeli soldier Elor Azaria was caught on camera shooting a wounded Palestinian attacker who was lying on the ground. Azaria later served two-thirds of a 14-month sentence after being convicted of reckless manslaughter.
His case sharply divided Israelis. The military pushed for his prosecution, saying he violated its code of ethics, while many Israelis, particularly on the nationalist right, defended his actions.


Multinational coalition reports record drugs seizure near Arabian Gulf in 2021

Multinational coalition reports record drugs seizure near Arabian Gulf in 2021
Updated 09 December 2021

Multinational coalition reports record drugs seizure near Arabian Gulf in 2021

Multinational coalition reports record drugs seizure near Arabian Gulf in 2021
  • Value of the drugs seized by the Bahrain-based Combined Task Force 150 exceeded the past four years combined

MANAMA/DUBAI: A multinational naval coalition said it seized over 67 tons of drugs worth more than $189 million in operations near the Arabian Gulf in 2021, a record for the task force.

The value of the drugs seized by the Bahrain-based Combined Task Force 150 exceeded the past four years combined, said Tim Hawkins, spokesman for the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) that oversees the task force.

The haul including 6,550 kilograms of heroin, 4,052 kilograms of methamphetamine and 56,834 kilograms of hashish was all destroyed, he said.

Commander of CTF 150, Royal New Zealand Navy Captain Brendon Clark, said the drugs came from a number of countries around the region, without specifying.

“It’s all about maritime security operations ... preventing illicit activity from non-state actors in the region,” he said.

“We do that so that we can have legitimate commercial shipping, legitimate commercial fishing, can transit and operate in the region free from these non state threats.”

CTF 150 is part of the CMF naval partnership in which 34 nations patrol 3.2 million square miles of international waters. The New Zealand navy took command of CTF 150 in July.

Meanwhile, the US seized two large caches of Iranian arms, including 171 surface-to-air missiles and eight anti-tank missiles, intended for the Houthi militia in Yemen.

The US justice department on Tuesday said navy troops seized the weapons from two vessels in the Arabian Sea while conducting routine maritime security operations.

“Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, orchestrated the arms shipments, which were destined for Houthi militants in Yemen,” the statement added.

Approximately 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum products were also seized from four foreign-flagged tankers in or around the Arabian Sea while en route to Venezuela, the justice department said.

“The actions of the United States in these two cases strike a resounding blow to the Government of Iran and to the criminal networks supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The seized petroleum products were sold for over $26 million, pursuant to a court order, with the proceeds directed, “in whole or in part, to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.”

The operation represents the US “government’s largest-ever forfeitures of fuel and weapons shipments from Iran,” the statement noted.


Arab coalition destroys Houthi communications system, weapons depot

Arab coalition destroys Houthi communications system, weapons depot
Updated 09 December 2021

Arab coalition destroys Houthi communications system, weapons depot

Arab coalition destroys Houthi communications system, weapons depot
  • The coalition is taking all necessary measures to protect civilians and stop cross-border attacks, it said in a statement

DUBAI: The Arab coalition launched a series of attacks against Houthi targets overnight, destroying a communication system in the Al-Bani district and a weapons depot in Sanaa. 
The coalition said the communication system was being used to launch cross-border drone attacks. 
Coalition forces earlier intercepted and destroyed two drones in Yemeni airspace, one of which was monitored and launched from Sanaa airport.
Clashes between the Iran-backed Houthis and the coalition have intensified in recent months, specifically in Marib where it destroyed a Houthi missile defense system.
On Wednesday, the coalition carried out 16 operations targeting the Houthi militia in Marib in the past 24 hours. It said 95 militants were killed and 11 Houthi military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.
The coalition is taking all necessary measures to protect civilians and stop cross-border attacks, it said in a statement.


UN Security Council condemns deadly Daesh terror attacks in Iraq

UN Security Council condemns deadly Daesh terror attacks in Iraq
Updated 09 December 2021

UN Security Council condemns deadly Daesh terror attacks in Iraq

UN Security Council condemns deadly Daesh terror attacks in Iraq
  • Two incidents in the past week, one in Basra and the other in the north of the country, left dozens of people dead or injured
  • Council members pledged their continued support to Iraq in its fight against terrorism, and in opposing Daesh in particular

The UN Security Council on Wednesday strongly condemned recent terrorist attacks in Iraq that killed or injured dozens of people. Daesh has claimed responsibility.

At least four people were killed and 20 injured in an explosion in Basra on Dec. 7, and at least 13 died in an attack in the north of the country on Dec. 3.

The members of the Security Council offered their condolences to the families of the dead and wished the injured a speedy recovery. They also reiterated their support for the “independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, democratic process and prosperity of Iraq.”

They urged all states to “actively” cooperate with Iraqi authorities to bring to justice the “perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism.” Such cooperation, they stressed, is in line with obligations under international law and Security Council resolutions.

Council members “reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”

Pledging its continued support to Iraq in its fight against terrorism, and particularly Daesh, the council “reaffirmed the need for all states to combat by all means — in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law — threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”