Sudanese officials ‘banned from travel’ amid tension between PM and ruling general
The head of Sudan’s ruling Sovereignty Council, General Abdel Fattah Burhan, has called for the dissolution of the country’s government, amid reports that senior officials have been banned from travelling abroad.
Several Sudanese media organisations said on Wednesday that a list of officials prohibited from leaving the country had been drawn up, citing security sources.
Sudanese sources also told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that the Sudanese cabinet, led by Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok, had sent General Jamal Abdul Hamid, the head of Sudan’s General Intelligence Service, a strong letter of protest.
The letter was sent after Salah Manna, a member of a committee tasked with “dismantling” the previous regime of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019, was prevented from travelling to Cairo and forced to turn back at Khartoum Airport.
Eleven names are reportedly on the list of officials banned from travel, including Mohammed Al-Fekki Suleiman, a member of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council.
The Sovereignty Council, led by General Burhan, assumed the functions of the Sudanese presidency after Bashir was ousted in 2019, and is a mixed military-civilian body. It will be in power until 2022.
Prime Minister Hamdok’s government was appointed on a transitional basis in 2019. However, following a coup attempt by pro-Bashir military officers last month, relations between Hamdok and Burhan have deteriorated.
Sudan has suffered a severe economic crisis recently, partly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Burhan blamed Hamdok and other Sudanese politicians for creating the conditions that led to the coup attempt, saying that they were not responsive to the needs of the Sudanese people.
Hamdok has rejected these allegations, saying that his government was fully aware of conditions in the country and working to find solutions.
Last Monday, Burhan escalated his attack on the government, saying that Sudan’s “current crisis” could only be solved if the country’s government was dissolved.
He also called for greater participation by political parties in government and the creation of a legislative assembly representing all political forces “except the National Congress,” which was associated with Bashir.
Burhan added that “some political forces were trying to preoccupy public opinion by creating problems with the armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces, casting suspicion on their patriotism.”
Burhan accused these unnamed “political forces” of “stalling political transition by rejecting dialogue and sharing [power] with others.”