Sudan riots complicate aid delivery

Sudan’s ruling general said Tuesday that the prime minister, who he ousted in a coup, was being held for his safety and would likely be released soon. However, he warned that other members of the dissolved government might be put on trial, while protests against the coup continued in the streets.

A day after the military seized power in a move widely condemned by the international community, pro-democracy demonstrators blocked streets in the capital with makeshift barricades and burned tires. Soldiers opened fire on the crowd the day before, killing four demonstrators, according to doctors.

The coup comes after weeks of heightened tensions between the military and civilian leaders over the manner and pace of Sudan’s transition to democracy.

The takeover threatens to derail the process, which has developed well so far and began since the overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago.

The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Sudan, an African country linked by language and culture to the Arab world, in a closed-door meeting Tuesday evening. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the “immediate release of all those detained” his spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said.

Dujarric added, “The UN mission in Sudan continues to encourage all parties to defuse tensions, maintain constitutional partnerships and promote a constitutional political transition.” [ka/jm]

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