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Sudan’s military to release some ministers after talks with UN chief

Sudan coup

Sudan’s military leadership on Thursday ordered the release of four ministers who were detained as it seized power in the East African country last week.

The officials in question are the ministers of telecommunications, trade, information, and youth and sports.

The announcement came after a meeting between General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the new military ruler in Sudan, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who had called for steps to ease the situation.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke with al-Burhan on Thursday and reiterated the call for the immediate release of all those detained since October 25 and an end to the state of emergency, spokesperson Ned Price said.

“The Secretary expressed his hope that the Sudanese military will take the action necessary to allow the resumption of a U.S.-Sudan partnership that encompasses political, diplomatic, security, and economic cooperation.”

Blinken “shared his admiration for the Sudanese people who have repeatedly voiced their desire for democracy,” Price said.

Guterres encouraged the developments of all efforts toward resolving the political crisis in Sudan and urgently restoring the constitutional order and the country’s transitional process to pave the way for future elections, according to a statement.

He also repeated his call for the release of ousted prime minister Abdullah Hamdok and other civilians arbitrarily detained in Sudan.

Blinken also spoke with Hamdok on Thursday, Price said.

“The Secretary underscored the strong support of the United States for the Sudanese people who seek democracy and called for an immediate restoration of the civilian-led transition to democracy.”

The military seized power in late October after a period of intense political crisis, including street demonstrations demanding that the military end its involvement in the government. The move sparked outrage nationwide and around the world.

Al-Burhan had been heading a transitional government together with Hamdok, but announced that the body had been dissolved and declared a state of emergency.

Thousands of people in Sudan have joined demonstrations against the coup in recent days.

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