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Sudan coup 2021: Army head declares emergency, dissolves government

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan says he will form a 'competent' government hours after raids and arrests of ministers
Sudan's Sovereign Council chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said he will form a 'competent' government (AFP)

Sudan's ruling council head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has declared a state of emergency across the country and the dissolution of the transitional sovereign council and the government.

The army commander's announcement came just hours after the military arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and several other senior officials in overnight raids at their homes.

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Burhan said he will form a "competent" government that will rule Sudan until elections in July 2023.

The army will continue with the country's democratic transition until the handover to a civilian elected government.

When that might be, however, is unclear.

'Gunfire'

Sudan's information ministry, still under the control of Hamdok's supporters, said Burhan's announcement amounted to a military coup and reported that protesters gathered near the Defence Ministry are facing gunfire.

Weeks ago, Burhan called for the dissolution of the civilian government led by Hamdok, arguing that the move would resolve the current political deadlock in the country.

Hamdok issued a statement from detention on Monday, saying that the moves by the military represent a "complete coup d'etat" and called on the Sudanese people to take to the streets to defend their revolution peacefully.

He also said that military forces kidnapped him and his wife from their home and that they had been taken to an undisclosed location.