Sudan Coup Leader Defends Power Grab

Sudan’s top General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan defended the Army’s seizure of power on Tuesday, saying he had ousted the government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to avoid civil war.

Speaking at his first news conference since he announced the takeover on Monday, Gen. Burhan accused politicians of incitement against the armed forces. He said Mr. Hamdok was confined in his own home and had not been harmed.

Soldiers arrested the Prime Minister and other members of his Cabinet on Monday, hours before Gen. Burhan appeared on TV to announce the dissolution of the Sovereign Council, a body set up to share power between the military and civilians.

“The whole country was deadlocked due to political rivalries,” Gen. Burhan said on Tuesday. “The experience during the past two years has proven that the participation of political forces in the transitional period is flawed and stirs up strife.”

Monday’s military takeover brought a halt to Sudan’s transition to democracy two years after a popular uprising toppled long-serving autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

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