KHARTOUM, October 26 (Reuters) – Telecommunications were cut in Sudan, a Reuters witness said on Tuesday, a day after the country’s military seized power in a coup and an official Ministry of Health said seven people were killed in clashes between soldiers and street protesters.
There has been no official confirmation of the communications disruption. A Reuters witness said internet and telephone services were severely limited.
Life is at a standstill in the capital Khartoum, where shops and services are closed and some roads are still blocked by the military after a rather quiet night.
The leader of the takeover, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dissolved the Sovereign Military-Civilian Council that was created to guide the country towards democracy after the overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in of a popular uprising two years ago.
Burhan announced the state of emergency, saying the armed forces must protect safety and security. He promised to hold elections in July 2023 and then hand over to an elected civilian government.
Events in Sudan mirror those in several other Arab countries, where the military has consolidated its grip following popular uprisings.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, a militant coalition in the uprising against Bashir, has called a strike. The call for a general strike was heard over the loudspeakers of mosques in Khartoum.
The Sudanese Ministry of Information, still loyal to ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, said on its Facebook page that the transitional constitution only gives the prime minister the right to declare a state of emergency and that the actions of the army is a crime. Hamdok is still the legitimate transitional authority, he said.
Hamdok, an economist and former senior UN official, was arrested and taken to an undisclosed location after refusing to release a statement in favor of the takeover, the information ministry said.
The governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway have condemned the coup in Sudan, expressing deep concern about the situation in the country.
They called on the security forces to release those illegally detained, according to a joint statement released by the US State Department.
Editing by Lincoln Feast.
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