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After the coup d’état of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, the head of Sudanese diplomacy, Maryam Sadeq al-Mahdi, affirmed, on Tuesday, on the antenna of France 24, her will to resist “by all peaceful means and civic possibilities “.
Despite international pressure on the army, arrests of activists and demonstrators are increasing in Sudan, after the military coup of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane. While the capital Khartoum is crisscrossed by security forces, the overthrown Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, detained after the October 25 coup, along with most of the civilian officials who made up the transitional power, was allowed to return home on the following day. But he remains “under close surveillance,” according to his office.
Invited, Tuesday evening October 26, to speak about the situation in Sudan during the debate of the Arab antenna of France 24, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maryam Sadeq al-Mahdi, said her rejection of the military coup and called on to resist General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane’s coup by all possible peaceful means.
While she has not been arrested, like some of her colleagues, she also says she feels threatened in a country where she now lives “in fear”.
France 24 : Should we believe General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who affirms that his initiative is not a coup d’etat ?
Maryam Sadeq al-Mahdi: Abdel Fattah al-Burhane may try to make us believe the opposite, it is indeed a military coup against civilians since he prohibited political forces, especially those located in the civilian camp, to play the least role in the institutions set up since the revolution.
We totally reject this coup as politicians and as a revolutionary and transitional government, because it is just a hasty and irresponsible initiative motivated by personal interests. Whoever claims to want to democratize the country cannot at the same time incriminate political parties, nor have the legitimate Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok, a respected figure inside the country and abroad, arrested. It is unacceptable and dangerous.
Do you feel personally threatened?
Certainly, I feel totally threatened. After the speech delivered on Tuesday by Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and his accusations against political forces and government ministers, I feel like a third-class citizen, at the very least, who no longer has the right to participate in the political life of his country, and in which I now live in fear.
Should we fear a face-to-face between the population and the army ?
We will resist by all possible peaceful and civic means against this coup. We call on our brothers in the army to give it up. Because the Sudanese people have nothing against the army, but they reject any idea of military rule, and they prove it by going out into the streets. We recognize and respect the military institution and we salute its crucial role in the defense of our borders. However, we refuse that it goes beyond the limits of its role which is perfectly described in the constitutional charter, which stipulates that it is responsible for protecting the unity and sovereignty of the country.
It does not have to impose its tutelage nor to designate, through the voice of any military person, who are the legitimate civilians responsible and those it considers to be criminals, nor to impose an overhaul of the institutions. We have confidence in the youth and the Sudanese people, we rely on them because they have been, since the beginning of the protest, the guardians of this revolution.
Do you think that the pressures exerted by the international community can weaken the military? ?
The international community gives us very important support, and morally this encourages us a lot to persevere. We thank her for that. Last week I met with US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman and told him that our countries are partners, and I stressed the importance of attention to Sudan and the current situation. by such great power. A message that I also conveyed to the Norwegian, British and French representatives, as well as to that of the African Union. We thank all the parties who are in contact with the civilian forces and the army, and who called for a return to the partnership in force before the coup. Because it is the only way to find hope for the country.
Are the current events linked to regional struggles for influence? ? Do you have contacts with neighboring countries like Egypt ?
Yes, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, I have had contact with counterparts from several countries. However, and I am as sorry as it is surprised, I did not receive a response from the head of Egyptian diplomacy, while brother countries and friends of Sudan, even very distant, made it clear to me. of their concern and called for calm. This is very surprising, because we had a good working relationship together and frequent and almost daily contacts. Egypt certainly has its own vision of events, but I cannot understand its interest in not maintaining its relationship with the civilian camp in Sudan. While, so far, Cairo has supported the transition process.