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Pretoria calls for immediate release of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok held by the military

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South Africa’s department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) said Pretoria rejects and condemns any attempt at an unconstitutional change of government in Sudan

Armed soldiers with a white African Union vehicle
The South African government has issued a statement saying it is deeply concerned about the apparent ongoing coup and attempts to undermine Sudan’s political transition. File Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Pretoria – Government has expressed “deep concern” about the situation in Sudan after the country’s military seized power from the transitional government.

“South Africa is deeply concerned about the apparent ongoing coup and attempts to undermine Sudan’s political transition. We reject and condemn any attempt at an unconstitutional change of government,” South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said in a statement.

“South Africa calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the prime minister, government officials and other politicians detained by security forces. We call on the security forces to exercise total restraint and protect the lives and property of the people.,” the statement read.

Sudan’s military has arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and a number of other senior ministers for refusing to support the coup.

According to Al Jazeera, Hamdok, who is under house arrest after refusing to issue a supportive statement of the military, called on the people to “defend their revolution”.

Hamdoks’s adviser Yasir Arman, who is also the deputy chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, was arrested at his home, while various employees at the headquarters of Sudan’s state broadcaster were also detained.

The move by the military follows weeks of tension with civilian groups. The two sides had initially agreed to share power after removing former leader Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

“We invite everyone to continue the march until the coup attempt is brought down,” Sudan’s information ministry said in a statement.

While telecommunications in the country have been restricted, footage on social media has shown protesters crossing barriers to enter the streets of Khartoum in an attempt to surround the military headquarters.

On Monday coup leader General Abdel Fattah Burhan dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and called a state of emergency.

Soldiers reportedly opened fire on crowds and reportedly killed at least 10 people.

Dirco said South Africa further calls on all parties to resume meaningful dialogue, to engage in good faith and restore Sudan’s constitutional order.

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