The country’s information ministry has confirmed that military forces have moved Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to an unknown location, after putting him under house arrest earlier on Monday. The arrests come after weeks of rising tensions since a failed coup attempt in September, which fractured the country.
Political tensions have been rising between Sudan’s civilian and military leaders who were meant to be sharing power following the toppling of the country’s long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.
The arrests of the five government figures were confirmed by two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Since the escalation has erupted, internet and phone signal outages have spread across the country. The last time there was an internet blackout in Sudan was the day following the deadly Khartoum massacre in 2019.
US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, met Sudanese military and civilian leaders over the weekend to try and solve the disputes.
Cameron Hudson, a former CIA officer, said this was “first and foremost a major blow to the aspirations of the Sudanese people, but also a major defeat for the US and international agenda to incentivize and democratic transition and a major setback to similar efforts in Chad, Mali, Guinea where military governments are hiding under the banner of civilian transitions.”