The Latest: UN Security Council to discuss Sudan on Tuesday

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FILE – In this Sept. 21, 2021, file photo, traffic moves on a street in Sudan’s capital Khartoum. Military forces detained at least five senior Sudanese government figures on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 officials said, as the country’s main pro-democracy group called on people to take to the streets to counter an apparent military coup. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali, File)

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council has scheduled an emergency closed-door meeting on the coup in Sudan for Tuesday afternoon.

Diplomats said late Monday that the consultations were requested by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Norway and Estonia.

The council is wrapping up a visit to Mali and Niger and is scheduled to return to New York early Tuesday afternoon, so the meeting has been scheduled for 4 p.m. EDT, the diplomats said ahead of an official announcement.

Sudan’s military seized power Monday, arresting the prime minister and other officials of the transitional government, sparking protests by thousands of demonstrators across the country demanding a return to civilian rule. The takeover threatened the country’s shaky progress toward democracy.

Council members are scheduled to discuss the disputed Abyei region on the Sudan-South Sudan border Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is suspending $700 million in emergency assistance to Sudan following a coup in the African nation.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the full amount of the aid package had been put on “pause” pending a review of the developments in Khartoum. The money, which was direct financial support, was intended to help the country transition to a fully civilian government. Price said additional U.S. assistance could also be affected.

The administration condemned the military takeover and dissolution of a transitional civilian-led authority and demanded the release of all officials detained in the overnight coup, which led to the arrest of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Price said the administration was watching developments “very closely” and “will not hesitate” to hold those responsible for the coup to account.

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UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. special envoy for Sudan says barricades in the capital of Khartoum are burning and occasional gunshots can be heard “so there is a risk that there would be more violence or more clashes.”

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee says three protesters were killed after security forces fired on crowds that flooded in the streets in the wake of a coup Monday. It says 80 people were wounded.

Volker Perthes spoke in a press briefing from Khartoum to reporters at U.N. headquarters Monday. He said that after the army carried out the coup and closed the entrances, bridges and airport in the city, quite a number of parties and unions asked people to take to the streets to condemn the takeover. He says thousands came out across the country to demand a return to civilian government.

Perthes says some demonstrators earlier Monday “tried to enter army headquarters here in Khartoum, and we have then seen shooting and injuries but can’t confirm any details.”

Perthes said he and U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman held parallel meetings with Sudanese political and military leaders in the past weeks. They urged a return to dialogue and advised against a coup which he said would “squander the achievements of the first two years of the transition.”

The U.N. envoy demanded that all parties “exercise utmost restraint,” that the military release all those unlawfully detained on Monday, and urged a return to dialogue and adherence to the constitution.

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MORE ON SUDAN:

— Sudan’s military takes power in coup, arrests prime minister

— EXPLAINER: How months of tensions led to Sudan’s coup

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

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CAIRO — The U.N.’s top human rights official has condemned the coup in Sudan, warning the county could slip backwards after progress following the 2019 uprising that ended a repressive dictatorship.

Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, called Monday for the release of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, government officials and political leaders who were detained.

Bachelet also urged military authorities to settle differences with civilians in the transitional government “through dialogue and negotiation.”

She called for the military to withdraw troops from the streets and “refrain from unnecessary and disproportionate use of force” against protesters who took to the streets against the coup.

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KHARTOUM, Sudan — The Sudan Doctors’ Committee says two protesters were killed after security forces fired on crowds that flooded in the streets in the wake of a coup Monday. It says 80 people were wounded.

Sudan’s military seized power, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the prime minister. Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country’s shaky progress toward democracy.

The takeover comes more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and just weeks before the military was supposed to hand the leadership of the council that runs the country over to civilians.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Gulf Arab sheikhdoms of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have called for calm and restraint in Sudan following the army’s coup.

The UAE, which along with regional allies Saudi Arabia and Egypt had cultivated close ties to Sudan’s top generals, emphasized the importance of securing “stability as soon as possible, in a manner that achieves the interest and aspirations of the Sudanese people.”

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said it had “confidence” in Sudan’s political establishment to “overcome this crisis through dialogue and understanding.”

Their muted statements come as Western countries and the United Nations have strongly condemned the army’s takeover of Sudan. Security forces arrested several top officials including the interim prime minister and protesters flooded the streets of the capital. The developments threaten to undermine Sudan’s fragile democratic transition since the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir over two years ago.

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KHARTOUM — U.S. diplomats in Sudan have issued warnings to American citizens in the country citing the military’s closure of areas in and around the capital and reports of violence against protesters.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum urged Americans to “shelter in place” and “remain aware of their surroundings” hours after Sudan’s top general declared a state of emergency and dissolved the civilian government. Internet remained widely disrupted across the country and the embassy noted it was “non-functional” in Khartoum.

It asked that American citizens not travel to the U.S. Embassy or to international airports in Khartoum or Port Sudan, where it said outbound flights were halted.

The military coup on Monday plunged Sudan’s fragile political transition into uncertainty, two years after mass protests helped to topple the iron-fisted rule of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

CAIRO — The pro-democracy group that negotiated a power-sharing deal with Sudan’s military after the ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir has condemned the coup that returned the military to power.

The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change in a statement Monday called for the release of all detained ministers and government officials and for the military to hand power over to a civilian government.

The statement also urged the international community to declare their rejection of the coup.

Sudan’s military seized power Monday, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the interim prime minister and other officials. Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country’s shaky progress toward democracy.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia has issued a call for “restraint and calm” in Sudan amid the army’s takeover.

The regional powerhouse, which has cultivated close ties with Sudan’s top generals, issued a statement of concern on Monday, calling on Sudanese factions to unify and “preserve the political and economic gains that have been achieved.”

The kingdom “affirms its continued standing with the brotherly Sudanese people,” the Foreign Ministry statement read.

Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Gulf Arab sheikhdoms for years supported long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir, although they eventually backed the military’s ouster of him amid mass protests against his rule over two years ago.

After al-Bashir’s removal, Saudi pledged billions of dollars in funding along with the United Arab Emirates to Sudan’s new military rulers, a move that generated some suspicion among Sudanese protesters who feared their revolution may be thwarted.

The Saudi statement came as Sudan’s ruling general declared a state of emergency and dissolved the country’s civilian Cabinet. Security forces arrested top officials and protesters poured into the streets of the capital.

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UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations has denounced the ongoing military coup in Sudan and urgently called for the release of the country’s interim prime minister and other top Cabinet officials.

In a tweet on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and all other officials detained by Sudanese security forces early Monday “must be released immediately.”

“There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition,” Guterres wrote.

He added: “The UN will continue to stand with the people of Sudan.”

The U.N.‘s political envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, echoed Guterres’ appeal and described the arrests of officials as “unacceptable.”

Perthes added he was “deeply concerned” about the “attempts to undermine Sudan’s political transition” to democracy following the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

He urged all parties to “return to dialogue and engage in good faith to restore the constitutional order.”

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BRUSSELS — The European Union has condemned the arrest of Sudan’s acting prime minister and other officials by the country’s military forces, calling for their immediate release.

The takeover takes place more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and just weeks before the military was expected to hand the leadership of the council that runs the African country over to civilians.

The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in a statement that the coup is a “betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development.”

Thousands of protesters have poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman, following the arrests.

“The right of peaceful protest must be respected; violence and bloodshed must be avoided at all cost; we also urge communication networks to be open,” Borrell said.

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CAIRO — Egypt has urged all parties in neighboring Sudan to work to ensure “stability and security” amid the military takeover of the east African country.

Egypt, which shares access to the vital Nile River and a long southern border with Sudan, said Monday that it was “closely following” the country’s tumult and emphasized the need to deal “with current challenges in a manner that guarantees the safety of this brotherly country.”

The statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, which came after Sudan’s top general dissolved the civilian government and declared a state of emergency, did not condemn the coup or express overt concerns like many Western countries have.

Instead, Egypt said only that it was urging Sudanese factions to “give priority to the higher interest of the country and to national consensus.”

The two most senior generals in Sudan have close ties with Egypt under its own general-turned-president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has added his voice to the growing global concern over the military coup underway in Sudan.

“France condemns in the strongest terms the attempted coup d’état,” Macron tweeted, after Sudan’s leading general declared a state of emergency and dissolved the civilian government.

Macron said France supports the transitional government that had been tasked with steering Sudan toward democratic elections. He also called for the “immediate release” of Sudan’s prime minister and other civilian leaders who have been detained.

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CAIRO — The United States says the leaders of the military coup underway in Sudan are undermining the country’s transition to democracy and should “stand down.”

The U.S. Embassy in Sudan said on Twitter Monday it was “gravely concerned” after Sudan’s leading general declared a state of emergency and dissolved the ruling body that had been jointly overseen by military and civilian leaders. In the statement the embassy calls on “all actors who are disrupting Sudan’s transition to stand down, and allow the civilian-led transitional government to continue its important work to achieve the goals of the revolution.”

That’s a reference to the mass protests that helped topple longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and installed a ruling council to steer the country toward democratic elections.

U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said earlier Monday that Washington was “deeply alarmed” about the events and warned that a military coup could jeopardize American aid to Sudan.

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CAIRO — The Norwegian Refugee Council has appealed to Sudan’s rulers to protect civilians amid the military takeover of the east African country, requesting unimpeded humanitarian access to help millions who have fled war over the years.

The aid group’s Sudan director, Will Carter, said Monday that changes to Sudan’s political leadership should not jeopardize authorities’ previous vows to ensure that humanitarian organizations can assist the 13 million people badly in need of aid across Sudan, including millions of displaced Sudanese.

“Sudan’s leaders have a collective opportunity and responsibility to break from a difficult past,” the statement said, exhorting the international community “not to abandon Sudan’s people in this hour of need.”

The call came as Sudan’s leading general declared a state of emergency and dissolved the ruling council that had been steering the fragile country toward democratic elections.

Under long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir who was toppled amid mass protests in 2019, aid organizations struggled to access the country’s most vulnerable in war-scarred regions like Darfur where combatants sometimes controlled access to food.

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BEIJING — China is urging a dialogue between Sudanese factions as an apparent military coup roils the nation.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday that China wanted all parties in Sudan “to resolve their differences through dialogue so as to maintain peace and stability of the country.”

He told reporters that China would continue to closely follow the turbulence in Sudan and “take necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel there.”

China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and major investor in Africa.

The arrests on Monday of Sudan’s interim prime minister and other officials plunged Sudan’s fragile path to democracy into uncertainty following the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir. During al-Bashir’s harsh rule and despite allegations of his government’s human rights abuses, China was Sudan’s biggest trading partner and key international partner.

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CAIRO – The Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation has expressed concern over the apparent coup in Sudan amid a fragile transition to democracy.

In a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the organization said Monday that it urged Sudanese leaders to “abide by the constitutional document and what has been agreed upon during the transition period.”

The statement comes as other nations express alarm at the arrest of Sudan’s interim prime minister and other senior officials. Their whereabouts were not immediately known.

Thousands of Sudanese protesters have flooded the streets as fears of a military coup grip the country two years after mass protests ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades.

The 57-nation OIC is based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia.

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BERLIN — Germany has demanded an immediate halt to the apparent military coup underway in Sudan.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass condemned the attempted takeover in the vast east African country and called the news “dismaying.”

“This attempted coup must end immediately,” he said, urging “all those who bear responsibility for security and state order in Sudan to continue the peaceful political transition process in Sudan toward democracy.”

The statement Monday was one of several from other nations expressing concern about the arrest of Sudan’s interim prime minister and other senior officials. Their whereabouts were not immediately known.

Thousands of Sudanese protesters have flooded the streets as fears of a military coup grip the country two years after mass protests ousted autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades. Since 2019, Sudan has been navigating a fragile transition to democracy.

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CAIRO — The United Nations Mission to Sudan has issued an emphatic rebuke of what it called an ongoing coup and attempts to undermine the northeast African nation’s fragile democratic transition.

The first reports about a possible military takeover began trickling out of Sudan before dawn Monday. By mid-morning, the information ministry confirmed that the prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, had been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location. Several senior government figures were also detained, the ministry said in a Facebook post. It said their whereabouts were unknown.

“The reported detentions of the prime minister, government officials and politicians are unacceptable,” said the recently formed U.N. political mission, which has a mandate to assist the country’s political transition and protect human rights.

The mission called on Sudan’s security forces “to immediately release those who have been unlawfully detained or placed under house arrest” and urged all parties to “exercise utmost restraint.”

Diplomats have joined in a chorus of concern over the events that rocked Sudan on Monday, as Sudanese security forces detained senior government officials in undisclosed locations and thousands flooded the street in protest, two years after mass demonstrations helped topple former autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

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CAIRO — The Arab League has released a statement of “deep concern” about the apparent military coup in Sudan.

The Secretary-General of the 22-member bloc, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, urged all parties on Monday to “fully abide” by the constitutional declaration signed in August 2019, which had aimed to pave the way for a transition to civilian rule and democratic elections following the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

“There are no problems that cannot be resolved without dialogue,” Aboul Gheit said after Sudan’s military detained the country’s interim prime minister along with other top Cabinet officials and protesters poured into streets of the capital, Khartoum.

“It is important to respect all decisions and agreements that were decided upon … refraining from any measures that would disrupt the transitional period and shake stability in Sudan,” the statement added.

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CAIRO — The European Union has joined the United States in expressing grave concern about a possible military takeover underway in Sudan.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell tweeted on Monday that he’s following events in the northeast African nation with the “utmost concern,” after reports emerged that Sudanese military forces had detained several senior government officials, including the interim prime minister.

“The EU calls on all stakeholders and regional partners to put back on track the transition process,” Borrell wrote, referring to Sudan’s fragile transition from autocracy to democracy after the ouster of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Earlier, U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said Washington was “deeply alarmed” and indicated that a military coup would threaten American aid to the impoverished country.

“As we have said repeatedly, any changes to the transitional government by force puts at risk U.S. assistance,” the U.S. Bureau of African Affairs wrote on Twitter.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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