Coup d'état in Sudan: General Fattah al Burhan dissolves transitional government

The head of the Sudanese Armed Forces has dissolved the Council of Ministers and declared a state of emergency in the country

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Demonstrations in Sudan's capital Khartoum

The military has regained power in Sudan, putting an end to a transitional government that has tried to establish a democratic system in the country. The situation is chaotic at the moment. The Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, is still missing after being abducted by the military. The officers have subsequently arrested members of the Sovereign Transitional Council and several government ministers, thus putting an end to democratic aspirations.

Members of Hamdok's office have warned the military authorities that they bear "full responsibility for his life or death". The UN envoy for Sudan, Volker Perthes, called on the armed forces to "immediately release the detainees" and described the arrests as "unacceptable".

Subsequently, the head commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, has dissolved the Council of Ministers and imposed a state of emergency in the country. Al-Burhan has also suspended some articles of the constitution and removed governors in order to further empower the military wing.

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - demonstrations in Sudan

The announcement of these measures has led to a total rupture between the components of the civilian government and the military government, thereby declaring open conflict. Following this event, the Forces for Freedom and Change have called for demonstrations in the capital, Khartoum, but these are being harshly repressed. The army itself is opening fire on the civilian population, causing casualties and injuries and fracturing an already divided and polarised society. 
Even so, the will of the population is stronger and under the cries of "we will not accept a military regime", civilians are coming out to protest "ready to give their lives for a democratic transition" as AFP journalists have found out. 

State television is also in the hands of the military, through which Al-Burhan has tried to underline his desire to hold the elections scheduled for 2023. He added that "the prefects and ministers" have been dismissed and that Sudan is in a state of emergency as of today. 

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -  Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok

Following this insurrection, the coup attempt of a month ago has become a reality and a political phase full of uncertainty has begun. Last week's demonstrations calling for the return of military rule demonstrated the discontent of part of the population with the current government. However, this popular demand did not respond to all of society's desires as it is dangerously divided between those who want a democratic system and those who opt for the return of the military to power. 

International reactions have not been long in coming. From the European Union, Josep Borrell has urged the international community to try to "put the democratic transition on track", while the Arab League has expressed "its deep concern". 

REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN  - The head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and Sudanese opposition coalition leader Ahmad al-Rabiah, celebrate the signing of the power-sharing agreement.

This new scenario already demonstrates how Sudan has been unable to sustain a situation that was hardly consistent. The after-effects of the dictatorship are still present in society and a part of the population is in favour of the dictatorial regime, which was overthrown two years ago with the fall of Omar al-Bashir. However, another important part of the population is seeing with this coup d'état how their dream of living in a democracy has disappeared.