Sudan timeline: Developments since October military takeover

Sunday 21 Nov 2021

Nearly one month since Sudan's army ousted the civilian leadership in a military takeover, mediators say top General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has struck a deal for the return of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.


The military takeover followed weeks of tensions between the army and civilian authorities that were heading a transition to full civilian rule, following the 2019 overthrow of autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Here is a snapshot of developments since the military takeover.

Civilian leaders detained

On October 25, soldiers arrest civilian members of the transitional authorities, including Hamdok, for refusing to back the military takeover.

Soldiers storm the headquarters of Sudan's state broadcaster, and the internet is blocked across the country.

Burhan declares a state of emergency, dissolves the authorities leading the country's democratic transition and announces the formation of a new government.

Hamdok's office urges protesters to take to the streets, where security forces fire on demonstrators, killing several and wounding dozens.

The police insist they have not used live bullet, and that they have used "minimum force" to disperse the protests.

The military takeover sparks an immediate international backlash, with calls to free Hamdok. The United States says it is pausing $700 million in aid.

Protesters stand firm

Protesters remain on the streets overnight and into October 26, using tyres to create burning barricades. "No to military rule," protesters chant.

Shops around the capital remain shuttered following calls for a campaign of civil disobedience.

At a press conference, Burhan says Hamdok is in "good health". In the evening, Hamdok is brought home but put under guard.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with him by telephone.

On October 27, Sudanese security forces make sweeping arrests of protesters, as further clashes take place at the barricades.

International pressure

The African Union suspends Sudan, and the World Bank freezes vital aid to the poverty-stricken country, already hit by a dire economic crisis.

On October 28, street clashes continue, with security forces reportedly using tear gas as well as rubber-coated and live bullets.

The UN Security Council, in a unanimous statement, calls on the new military rulers to restore the civilian-led government.

On October 29, on the eve of major demonstrations, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges Sudan's military to show "restraint and not to create any more victims".

The United States also demands Sudan's military refrain from violence.

A day later, tens of thousands take to the streets to protest. Three demonstrators are killed after security forces open fire.


On November 1, the UN envoy to Sudan speaks of "mediation" efforts. International pressure builds, and four civilian ministers are released on November 4.

Civil society groups mobilise a nationwide protest campaign on November 7. They are met with tear gas, and there are more arrests of activists.

On November 9, Burhan -- the de facto ruler since Bashir was ousted in 2019, heading a Sovereign Council of military and civilian figures -- forms a new ruling council.

He maintains his position as chief, while military figures and ex-rebel leaders keep their posts.

But he replaces members from the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), Sudan's main civilian bloc, with little-known figures.

Deadly crackdown

At least eight people are killed on November 13 by security forces seeking to stem anti-military takeover protests.

The sweeping crackdown also targets Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Khartoum. He is arrested and is released two days later.

November 17 becomes the bloodiest day since the coup with security forces killing 16.

It takes the death toll to at least 40, including several teenagers.

Deal for Hamdok's return

On Sunday, mediators announce that Burhan and Hamdok have reached a deal for the premier's return to government, and the release of detained civilian leaders.

Mediators said the deal was reached following talks among political factions, ex-rebel groups and military figures.

Hamdok is freed from house arrest, but thousands are unconvinced of the deal and street protests continue in Khartoum.

Hundreds of protesters also gather in Khartoum's twin city Omdurman, as well as in the eastern state of Kassala, the restive eastern coastal city of Port Sudan and the northern city of Atbara.

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