World leaders including President Emmanuel Macron of France were quick to respond to the news of Monday’s coup attempt in Sudan and demanded the release of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
“France utterly condemns the attempted coup d’état in Sudan,” said Macron. “I express our support to Sudan‘s transitional government and call for the immediate release of the prime minister and civilian leaders and for their integrity to be respected.”
Macron’s remarks were echoed by leaders in the United States, European Union and the United Nations.
“We call on the security forces to immediately release those they have unlawfully detained,” said Josep Borrell, foreign policy head for the EU. “The actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development.”
That sense of betrayal was evident as protesters took to the streets of Khartoum, where there were reports that security forces had fired weapons into the crowds. There was no immediate confirmation of injuries. Protests and rallies in solidarity with Sudanese reformers were planned abroad.
Military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, a part of the transitional council negotiated after the removal of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir in 2019, said the decision to remove Hamdok was rooted in security concerns. Sudan has seen several uprisings and coup attempts since the protests that ultimately led to Bashir’s removal.
Sudanese leaders also expressed concern that elections planned for 2022 as part of the transitional agreement will be postponed until 2023. Nasr Al-Din Al-Bari, the justice minister, said the only way out of Sudan’s political crisis is “the literal, strict adherence to the constitutional document and its implementation in order to complete the transition to democratic civilian rule.”
Image: African Union file