The move has crushed hopes of a peaceful transition to power after the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
Sudan has been ruled by an uneasy coalition between military and civilian groups since 2019, but the military effectively took control on Monday.
Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and his wife were detained and taken to an undisclosed location. Several government ministers and officials were also arrested.
The head of Sudan’s armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dissolved the power-sharing sovereign council and transitional government, saying in a televised statement that a “free and fair representative government” would assume power until elected in 2023.
He said the power-sharing agreement with civilian members of the country’s Transitional Sovereign Council “became a conflict” over the past two years, a “threat to peace and unity” in Sudan.
Burhan said several articles of the Constitution have been suspended and state governors have been removed.
How did the current troubles begin?
When Bashir was ousted from power in a 2019 coup, after three decades in power, Sudan’s military leadership formed the Transitional Military Council to oversee the transition to power.
But the pro-democracy movement strongly opposed the council, which called for civilian rule instead. After a week-long standoff, the two sides agreed to create a sovereign council that would govern “for the next three years or a little longer”.
Under the agreement reached in July 2019, the Military Council will be in charge of the country’s leadership for the first 21 months. A civil administration would then rule the council over the next 18 months.
Did the coup come as a surprise?
Not completely. Hamdok’s aide Adam Hirika told CNN the premier was aware of the military’s plans and was under pressure to dissolve the government.
Hirika said that he visited Hamdok on Sunday evening where he discussed the current situation. He said that Hamdok had met Burhan.
On Monday, the information ministry said Hamdok was under pressure to issue a statement “in support of the acquisition”. Instead, he said, he called on pro-democracy protesters to take to the streets in peaceful protest.
Why is this happening?
In keeping with the original transitional agreement, tensions were rising after some politicians, including Hamdok, pressed for a full transition to civilian rule by 17 November.
In the weeks that followed, military leaders have been calling for a reform of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and the replacement of the cabinet. Civic leaders accused him of grabbing power.
How has the international community reacted?
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the coup and called for the release of the prime minister and other officials, he said in a tweet on Monday, adding that the United Nations will continue to “stand by” the people of Sudan.
At a press briefing, the White House said the Biden administration was “deeply concerned” by the unfolding events in Sudan, while the United Kingdom called the coup an “unacceptable betrayal of the Sudanese people”.
What do the protesters want?
Thousands of demonstrators protesting the coup took to the streets of the capital Khartoum on Monday, some raising the slogan: “We walk with worry in our hearts and worry is sleeping in people’s chests.” They gathered at many places.
The Sudanese Central Doctors’ Committee said in a statement on Facebook that two people were killed and at least 80 were injured in shootings during the demonstrations. The committee, which is affiliated with the civilian component of the now-dissolved Sovereign Council, blamed the military for the shooting. CNN could not confirm these claims.
In the video going on social media, a crowd of people is seen moving towards the General Command of the Army. Amid reports of roads being closed in several parts of the city, some people could be seen removing the razor wire which was kept across the road.
The information ministry said on Facebook that supporters of civilian rule have also announced a strike in response to a program of civil disobedience and military takeover.
Where is Omar al-Bashir?
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued arrest warrants for Bashir in 2009 and 2010 on charges of genocide and war crimes related to Sudan’s military operation in Darfur between 2003 and 2008.
CNN’s Ivana Kottasova wrote from London. CNN’s Yasir Abdullah, Karim Khaddar, Hamdi Alakhshali, Karim Al Damanhouri, Mustafa Salem, Jennifer Deaton, Eliza Mackintosh, Nima Elbagir and Kara Fox contributed reporting.