Military coup in Sudan: report from the diocese of Salisbury

"++Ezekiel’s concern, given that there is no news internally and the Internet is virtually inoperative, is not only about the high risk of suppression of supporters of the civilian government by the military but the continuing shortage of food which can only get worse. The prospects of more fatalities and injuries at further demonstrations are very real."

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On Monday (25th October), General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan made a televised announcement, declaring a state of emergency. The transitional cabinet has been dissolved, and a new government is to be formed.

Original image courtesy MaxPixel.net

The UN Security Council expressed “serious concern” in an official statement, and the US and IGAD have condemned the coup as “utterly unacceptable”. The US has suspended aid, and may even re-impose sanctions. 

The Revd Jane Shaw of Heytesbury Deanery writes: 

“On 26th October the military component of the transitional government of Sudan, headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced the dissolution of the Sovereign Council and the government (led by the civilian Prime Minister Mr Hamdok), declared a state of emergency and arrested Mr Hamdok, among others such as ‘Freedom for Change’ officials. State governors have been removed, and the anti-corruption force suspended. 

“The claims that political in-fighting between factions was delaying progress towards a fully democratic government and that the military would hand over to a “fully democratic” government after elections in 2023. 

“There have been widespread protests on the streets in many major cities as many labour unions have declared full strike and civil disobedience; the Internet was shut down, but employees of mobile companies have enabled it to operate again; heavy machine guns have been used against protesters; and there are reports of deaths and injuries from hospital emergency rooms.” 

Canon Ian Woodward, Chair of the Salisbury-Sudans Link, said: 

“I have been able to speak to Archbishop Ezekiel and assured him of our prayers.   

“++Ezekiel’s concern, given that there is no news internally and the Internet is virtually inoperative, is not only about the high risk of suppression of supporters of the civilian government by the military but the continuing shortage of food which can only get worse. The prospects of more fatalities and injuries at further demonstrations are very real. 

“The suspension of aid and the risk of the return of sanctions is also a real worry”.  

Our friends in Bradford Deanery are especially concerned, as their link is with Kadugli Diocese in Sudan.   

Andrew Evans, Rural Dean of Bradford, says:  

“Please pray for Sudan as a whole, that peace and democracy will be re-established.  

“For church leaders in and around Khartoum that they will be given wisdom and protection in their dealings with all parties.  

“For our friends in Kadugli, and especially Bishop Hassan, that they and all the church there will enjoy God’s protection, and that this crisis will strengthen the church and create greater openness to the Gospel.”