Thousands took to the streets of Sudan after calls for rival protests.
Several Sudan-related hashtags have topped Qatar’s top Twitter trends as the country’s power struggle deepened on Monday with reports of a military coup.
Social media users rushed to Twitter to protest ongoing developments in Sudan using various Arabic hashtags including #NoToMilitaryCoup and #GeneralCivilDisobedience.
Earlier on Monday, local Sudanese media reported that joint military forces detained civilian members of Sudan’s ruling body, in addition to a number of ministers within the transitional government.
Armed forces detained Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok over his refusal to support their coup, the information ministry said, after earlier reports said he was on house arrest.
Civilian officials taken into custody include Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, and the governor of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, Ayman Khalid.
“Civilian members of the transitional sovereign council and a number of ministers from the transitional government have been detained by joint military forces,” the ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
“They have been led to an unidentified location.”
Main roads leading to the capital have been reportedly cut off by men in military uniform, and state television is now broadcasting patriotic songs.
Meanwhile, the capital’s airport has also come to a standstill with international flights being suspended, Al-Arabiya TV channel reported.
The country’s main pro-democratic political group Sudanese Professional’s Association (SPA) described the recent escalations as a “military coup” and called on the public to take to the streets.
In response, thousands of pro-government supporters have started protesting in the streets of Khartoum and other cities, holding a sit-in outside the presidential palace.
This has led to an internet outage across the country.Netblocks, which monitors internet connectivity worldwide, reported a significant disruption to internet services in Sudan early on Monday that also affecting cellular and some fixed-line connectivity on multiple providers.
At a news conference just two days earlier, a Sudanese faction called for a peaceful transfer of power to civilian rule and warned of a “creeping coup”.
In a statement by Qatar’s foreign ministry, Doha said it is “following current developments in Sudan with concern, calling on all parties not to escalate, contain the situation, allow for the voice of reason to prevail, and work in the interests of the brotherly Sudanese people to achieve stability, justice, and peace,” Qatar News Agency reported.
Since the overthrow of former President Bashir, who was toppled after a country-wide revolution in 2019, several coup attempts have taken place in the country, though none have been successful.
Last month, Sudan was struck with yet another coup that was quickly suppressed by authorities.
In a statement at the time, Qatari authorities said the failed putsch was an attempt to target the Sudanese people’s hopes and aspirations for a smooth democratic transition, freedom, peace, and justice.
That came after some military officers and civilians accused of links to the previous President Omar al-Bashir regime attempted to overthrow the transitional government in Sudan.
Shortly after, Sudanese authorities said the situation was under control, and around 21 officers and a number of other soldiers were detained for interrogation, Reuters reported.
Sudan has been grappling with a fragile path to democratic rule since the military’s overthrow of Bashir, with the joint civilian and military government struggling to control a dire economic and political situation in the country.