EU demands immediate release of Sudanese leader, cabinet members

FILE PHOTO: Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok attends a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron and Sudan's Sovereign Council Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (not seen) during the International Conference in support of Sudan at the Temporary Grand Palais in Paris, France, May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/Pool/File Photo

(Reuters) - The European Union condemned the detention of Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other cabinet members on Monday and urged their immediate release after the country's military chief dissolved the transitional government.

"We call on the security forces to immediately release those they have unlawfully detained," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

Hamdok was detained and moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the takeover, according to the information ministry, still apparently under the control of Hamdok's supporters.

Sudan is in the midst of a deep economic crisis, marked by record high inflation and shortages of basic goods, though that was beginning to show signs of easing amid flows of international aid. Western states have warned that any military takeover would put aid at risk.

Borrell warned the right of peaceful protest must be respected, and violence and bloodshed avoided at all cost.

"The actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development," he said.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Giles Elgood and Jon Boyle)

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