Sudanese ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been brought home, his office said, after a day of intense international pressure following his removal in a military coup.
Hamdok was “under close surveillance” while other ministers and civilian leaders remained under arrest, his office added late on Tuesday after the army dissolved Sudan’s institutions on Monday.
“The prime minister… has been accompanied back to his own home in Kafouri district and security measures have been put in place around the perimeter of his home,” a source said.
The official did not say whether the Hamdoks are free to move or make calls.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken immediately spoke with Hamdok, the State Department said.
“The Secretary welcomed the Prime Minister’s release from custody and reiterated his call on Sudanese military forces to release all civilian leaders in detention and to ensure their safety,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Coup leader and army chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan earlier on Tuesday said that Hamdok was “at my home… (and) in good health”.
This development comes as international calls for his release continued a day after a coup led by the country’s top military general.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded Hamdok “be released immediately” after the Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sudan.
Guterres’s demands added to a chorus of condemnation by the US and European powers against the Sudanese military’s power grab.
The European Union also threatened to suspend financial support for Sudan if the military did not immediately release the civilian leaders and allow the transitional government to stay in power.
“This attempt to undermine Sudan’s transition to democracy is unacceptable. If the situation is not reversed immediately, there will be serious consequences for the EU’s commitment, including its financial support,” EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell warned in a statement on Tuesday.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan also said on Tuesday that the Biden administration has been in close contact with Gulf countries about the situation in Sudan.
The US is looking at the full range of economic tools at its disposal to address the situation, he said.
Sudanese ambassadors to 12 countries, including the United States, the United Arab Emirates, China, and France, have rejected the military takeover, a diplomatic source told Reuters.
Ambassadors to Belgium and the European Union, Geneva and UN agencies, China, South Africa, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Sweden and Canada, also signed on to the statement, which said the ambassadors were taking the side of the people’s resistance to the coup.
Burhan’s declaration of a state of emergency and dissolution of the government provoked an immediate international backlash.
The United States, a key backer of Sudan’s transition, strongly condemned the military’s actions and suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
Sudan risks “going back into a period of being shunned by the rest of the world” and losing badly needed financial aid, said Alex de Waal, a veteran expert on Sudan who is executive director of the World Peace Foundation.
A troika of countries previously involved in mediating Sudanese conflicts, the US, UK and Norway, said “the actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution”.
The European Union, African Union and Arab League also expressed concern.
‘No to military rule’
Angry citizens stood their ground on barricaded streets where tyres burned, chanting “No to military rule” on Tuesday, the day after at least seven people were reportedly shot dead by security forces.
Sudanese security forces fired tear gas towards the protesters blocking a main road in the capital Khartoum, witnesses said.
The confrontation occurred in the Bari district where security forces were attempting to remove protesters who blocked the road with stones, the witnesses said.
The Information Ministry on Tuesday relayed a statement from the prime minister’s office demanding his immediate release.
The statement appealed for the “liberation of everyone” arrested on Monday, including Hamdok’s wife, several ministers and civilian members of the country’s power-sharing council.