(Bloomberg) — Sudan’s army put the prime minister under house arrest and detained a number of his colleagues, people familiar with the matter said, as the U.S. warned a military takeover would imperil its support.
Most Read from Bloomberg
Premier Abdalla Hamdok’s home was surrounded early Monday, the people said, asking not to be named as they weren’t authorized to speak to the media on the matter. Internet outages were reported in the capital, Khartoum.
Sudan has worked rapidly to transform its reputation since the overthrow of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, rebuilding ties with the U.S. and winning international financial aid. The crisis now threatens that economic and political rehabilitation.
The U.S. is “deeply alarmed at reports of a military take-over of the transitional government,” special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said in a statement. “Any changes to the transitional government by force puts at risk U.S. assistance.”
Feltman met with civilian and military leaders over the weekend in a bid to calm tensions that have been building for weeks as the date neared for the military to cede leadership of the country’s sovereign council.
Phone calls to military and government officials seeking comment didn’t connect.
A pariah in the West under al-Bashir, the U.S. in December rescinded Sudan’s almost three-decade designation as a state sponsor of terror. The country also secured International Monetary Fund funding and a pledge by the Paris Club of creditors to restructure $23.5 billion of its debt.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, an activist group that had a major role in 2019 protests, said the army’s move was an attempt to take power and called for supporters to take to the streets. Demonstrations were seen early Monday in the south of Khartoum and Omdurman, the twin city of the capital.
Read: U.S. Envoy to Visit Sudan as Risks Mount for Civilian Government
(Updates with U.S. statement starting in first paragraph.)
Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.