A leader of the protest movement launched by the Beja Council of Peers in eastern Sudan confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday that the closure of ports and streets in eastern Sudan is still continuing, at a time when the African Union suspended Khartoum’s membership and the World Bank decided to stop aid to the country.
The council had closed the ports overlooking the Red Sea last September, in protest against what it says is the region’s lack of political representation in power, poor support and poor economic conditions there, which has led to a shortage of medical supplies, fuel and wheat across Sudan.
“We have nothing to do with the ongoing dispute in Khartoum,” said the leader of the protest movement, Karrar Askar. Referring to the “military takeover” that toppled Hamdok’s government earlier this week, according to Reuters.
For its part, the African Union announced, on Wednesday, the suspension of Sudan’s membership “until the effective restoration of the transitional authorities led by civilians.”
In a statement, the union condemned “strongly the Sudanese army’s control of power (…) and the dissolution of the transitional government, and completely rejected the unconstitutional change of government,” which it considered “unacceptable” and “an insult to the common values and democratic standards of the African Union.”
In turn, World Bank President David Malpass said in a written announcement, published by AFP, that “the World Bank Group suspended on Monday the disbursement of all its operations in Sudan and stopped deciding on any new operation at a time when we are closely monitoring and evaluating the situation.”
The World Bank was participating in Sudan’s debt relief mechanism.
On the ground, protests continue against the decisions of Army Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, which removed the civilian partners in the transitional process from power, while the reopening of Khartoum Airport was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
After voices in the world rose during the last hours to demand the immediate release of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his office announced, on Tuesday, that he had returned to his home after he was in an unknown location with his wife, and that he was “under heavy guard.”
But he pointed out that “a number of ministers and political leaders are still being detained in unknown locations.”
Hamdok was returned to his residence hours after Al-Burhan announced that Hamdok was with him at his home.
Al-Burhan said, “The prime minister is with me at home and nowhere else… We feared that any harm would happen to him.” The military commander pledged that Hamdok would return to his home “when things stabilized and fears subsided.”
On Wednesday, the Sudanese police tried to remove the obstacles set up by the demonstrators from Sixty Street, one of the most prominent streets in the east of the capital, and carried out a campaign of arrests that included a number of young people who were in the place, according to AFP.
On Tuesday evening, Sudanese police fired tear gas at protesters in the Bahri area, east of Khartoum, in an attempt to disperse them and remove obstacles from the streets.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, which led the protests against ousted President Omar al-Bashir, announced on Facebook that four “revolutionaries” were killed by gunfire from the forces of the military coup, during protests.
On the other hand, Director of Civil Aviation Ibrahim Adlan announced the resumption of work at Khartoum Airport, on Wednesday, at 16:00 local time. On Tuesday, the authorities decided to suspend all flights to and from the country until the end of this month due to the unrest.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Al-Burhan admitted that the security authorities had arrested some politicians and ministers. “It is true that we have arrested some, not all politicians or all ministers, but everyone we suspect has an impact on national security,” he said.
Al-Burhan affirmed that the military “is committed to completing the transition with civilian participation,” noting that the Sovereignty Council “will be as it is in the constitutional document, but with real representation from the regions of Sudan