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Sudan suspended from African Union until civilian-led government is restored following military coup

The African Union has decided to suspend the participation of the Republic of Sudan in all of the organization’s activities, after a military coup on Monday saw its prime minister arrested and civilian government dissolved.

On Wednesday, the African Union stated in a communique that Sudan would be suspended from the 55-state bloc’s activities. The document notes that the suspension will remain until “the effective restoration” of the transitional authority which was tasked with guiding the country towards democratic governance in 2023.  

In a tweet, the African Union Political Affairs Peace and Security department stated that it welcomed the release of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok following his arrest during the coup, but it said the “restoration of the civilian-led Transitional Authority” was a prerequisite for Sudan’s renewed participation in the AU. 

It also demanded the immediate release of the Sudanese ministers and civilian officials who remain in detention.

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On Monday, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat called for Sudan’s military to respect human rights as thousands took to the streets following the coup, in which Hamdok and other members of the transitional government were arrested. 

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Hamdok was detained during a pre-dawn raid by troops loyal to the country’s military. Shortly after, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, commander-in-chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, declared a state of emergency and dissolved the government.

Burhan, who also previously headed the Sovereign Council that runs the country, vowed to carry on Sudan’s transition to civilian rule after long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was removed from power in 2019 following months of unrest and protests.

Hamdok has since been returned to his home, but his office says he remains under “heavy security.”

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest against the coup. Many more are taking part in a national disobedience movement and strike, demanding the return of the civilian government.

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