SUDAN’S top general has ordered the release of four government ministers who were detained amid a coup last week, the country’s state news agency reported on Thursday.
Moez Hadra, a defence lawyer for the deposed officials, said they have yet to be freed.
According to a report from Sudan’s state news, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan (pictured) issued decision to release Hamza Baloul, Minister of Information and Culture, Hashim Hasabel-Rasoul, Minister of Communications, Ali Gedou, Minister of Trade and International Cooperation, as well as Youssef Adam, Minister of Youth and Sports.
Top generals and former civilian leaders are locked in tense negotiations seeking a solution to the crisis sparked by the military takeover last week.
International pressure to resolve the crisis and re-install the civilian transitional government has been mounting. Meanwhile, protest leaders and human rights workers warn of a widespread arrest campaign targeting activists and opposition leaders.
Global pressure mounts
The international community continues to press for de-escalation, in hopes of restoring its democratically-elected government. To achieve this, the United Nations Human Rights Council is set to hold an emergency session on Sudan this Friday.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres encouraged general Burhan to take action toward resolving ‘the political crisis in Sudan and urgently restoring the constitutional order and Sudan’s transitional process,’ in a phone call on Thursday, according UN spokeswoman Eri Kaneko.
The UN chief also reiterated his call for the release of former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other arbitrarily detained civilians.
Hadra says the ministers to be released are only four of 100 government officials arrested during the coup. Half of are believed to be held in Khartoum, while the remainder are scattered across the country’s provinces, he adds.
Around 25 officials and politicians are facing charges for inciting troops to rebel, in an apparent reference to a failed coup attempt in September.