Joint military forces on Monday detained civilian members of Sudan’s ruling body and a number of ministers within the transitional government, the information ministry said.
“Civilian members of the transitional sovereign council and a number of ministers from the transitional government have been detained by joint military forces,” the ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
“They have been led to an unidentified location.”
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has also been placed under house arrest, local and regional media reported early Monday.
Alhadath TV earlier reported four cabinet ministers and a member of Sudan’s Sovereign Council were among those arrested. Men in military uniform cut off the main roads leading to the capital, and state television was broadcasting patriotic songs.
There was no immediate comment from the military.
The Khartoum airport was shut and international flights were suspended on Monday, the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV channel reported. There was no announcement from the Sudanese government on the status of the airport.
Military forces stormed Sudanese Radio and Television headquarters in Omdurman and arrested employees, the information ministry said on its Facebook page.
US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman said on Monday the United States is deeply alarmed at reports of a military takeover of the transitional government in Sudan.
On the official Twitter of the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, Feltman warned the military takeover would contravene Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration and puts at risk US assistance to the country.
“The US is deeply alarmed at reports of a military take-over of the transitional government,” Feltman said.
“This would contravene the Constitutional Declaration (which outlines the transition) and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people,” he said, according to a statement on Twitter.
Feltman met with Sudanese military and civilian leaders Saturday and Sunday in efforts to resolve a growing dispute. Sudan’s Stat News website highlighted the meetings with military officials.
Reacting to the developments, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, Sudan’s main pro-democratic political group, called on people to take to the street to counter an apparent military coup.
The association also said there were Internet and phone signal outages in the country.
One of those arrested was Ali Al-Rayh Al-Sanhouri, secretary-general of the Sudanese Baath Party, Al-Sharq reported, quoting unnamed sources.
The report said Council of Sovereignty member Mohammed Al-Jawki was also under arrest, along with Minister of Cabinet Affairs Khaled Omar Yusuf.
The raiders have surrounded the residence of Hamdok and stormed the house of his media adviser, whom they then took under custody, various media reports said.
Since August 2019, the country has been led by a civilian-military administration tasked with overseeing the transition to full civilian rule.
The main civilian bloc – the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) – which led the anti-Bashir protests in 2019, has splintered into two opposing factions.
“The crisis at hand is engineered – and is in the shape of a creeping coup,” mainstream FFC leader Yasser Arman told the Saturday press conference in the capital Khartoum.
“We renew our confidence in the government, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and reforming transitional institutions – but without dictations or imposition,” Arman added.
A failed coup attempt in September fractured the country along old lines, pitting more conservative Islamists who want a military government against those who toppled autocratic former ruler Omar Al-Bashir in mass protests. In recent days, both camps have taken to the street in demonstrations.
Last week, several cabinet ministers took part in big protests in several parts of the Khartoum and other cities against the prospect of military rule.
The military head of the Sovereign Council has previously asserted his commitment to the transition.