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US hits out at Sudan’s military after coup, freezes $700 mln in economic aid

US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said he had tried and been unable to get in touch with Hamdok, with who he had three separate meetings in recent days.

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The US hit out at Sudan’s military on Monday and called for the immediate release of the country’s prime minister and other government officials hours after an apparent coup was carried out.

“The US Embassy condemns the forced removal of the civilian government by Sudan’s armed forces, and their actions to undermine the country’s democratic transition. We call for the military to immediately cease violence, release detained officials, and ensure the safety of Sudanese citizens demonstrating for democratic and civilian leadership,” the US Embassy in Khartoum tweeted.

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It also advised US citizens in Sudan to “shelter in place.”

Early Monday, Sudan’s top military general announced that they had seized power from the transitional civilian government.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and at least four other government officials were reportedly arrested. The military was meant to hand over the leadership of the country’s ruling council to the civilian government in the coming weeks.

US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said he had tried and been unable to get in touch with Hamdok, with who he had three separate meetings in recent days.

“As we have said repeatedly, any changes to the transitional government by force puts at risk US assistance,” Feltman had said before his comments that he tried to contact Hamdok.

Feltman was in Sudan for his second trip in less than a month, but he reportedly left hours before the coup was carried out.

After dictator Omar Al Bashir was overthrown in 2019, the US removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, increased aid, and lobbied for more international assistance.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Bob Menendez, released a statement condemning Sudanese General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s decision to dissolve the government. “The Sudanese military’s takeover of the state apparatus is completely unacceptable and will have long-lasting consequences with respect to US-Sudanese relations,” the top Democratic senator said.

Following the coup, the military also cut off the internet across the entire country.

Meanwhile, Senator Chris Coons, who is also a top aide to President Joe Biden, blasted the “brazen effort to undermine the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people & put the gains of the revolution at risk.”

He also warned that US assistance would end if Hamdok and his government were not restored.

State Department Spokesman Ned Price announced the immediate halt of $700 million in economic assistance.

Read more: Sudan PM Hamdok moved to unknown location after refusing to support coup: Ministry