Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sudanese government officials detained; the group sees an obvious upheaval

CAIRO (AP) – Sudanese officials say military forces detained at least five senior government officials on Monday as the Sudanese Professionals Association called on people to take to the streets to counter an apparent military coup.

The Association, Sudan’s main pro-democratic political group, also said that Internet and telephone services were cut off in the country. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to communicate with the media.

The arrests come after weeks of escalating tensions between the Sudanese civilian and military leadership. A failed coup attempt in September split the country along the old lines, pitting more conservative Islamists seeking a military government against those who overthrew autocratic former ruler Omar al-Bashir in massive protests. In recent days, both camps have taken to the streets during demonstrations.

Those detained include Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Balul, member of the ruling Sovereign Council Mohammed al-Fiki Suliman and media adviser to Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok Faisal Mohammed Saleh.

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Ayman Khalid, the governor of the state in which the capital Khartoum is located, was also arrested, according to his office’s official Facebook page.

The arrests came after US Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman met with Sudanese military and civilian leaders on Saturday and Sunday in an attempt to resolve the growing dispute. The Sudanese website Stat News covered meetings with the military.

NetBlocks, a group that monitors Internet outages, said Monday it has seen “significant disruptions” to both fixed and mobile Internet connections across Sudan with multiple providers.

“The metrics confirm user reports of network outages associated with internet outages,” the advocacy group said. “The outage is likely to restrict the free flow of information on the Internet and news coverage of incidents on the ground.”

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