KHARTOUM | Khartoum announced Tuesday that it had “failed” a coup attempt involving military officials and civilians linked to the regime of the autocrat Omar al-Bashir, ousted from power two years ago by a popular revolt.
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“A failed coup attempt, led by a group of officers of the armed forces and civilians from the old regime (…) was brought under control at dawn,” said on television. State Minister of Information, Hamza Baloul.
“Eleven officers and several soldiers who participated in the failed plot” were arrested, the army reported. And Mr. Baloul assured that the situation was now “under control”, while the state media broadcast patriotic songs on repeat.
Head of the army and of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhane went to the al-Shajara military camp (south of the capital), suspected of having been the starting point of the sling.
“Had it been successful, this attempt would have had destructive consequences for the army, the regular forces and the country,” he said, addressing the soldiers.
This coup attempt is not the first to target the transitional government formed after the ousting in April 2019 of Omar al-Bashir, overthrown after 30 years of unchallenged rule.
For his part, the President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, encouraged all actors to “stand firmly alongside the legal authorities of the transition”.
This attempt is not the first to target the transitional government formed after the ousting in April 2019 of Omar al-Bashir, overthrown after 30 years of unchallenged rule.
The most recent putsch – a military coup with the support of the Islamists – brought Mr. Bashir to power in 1989. Imprisoned in Khartoum since his dismissal, the latter is currently on trial for his participation in the same coup. ‘State. The former leader is also claimed by the International Criminal Court for “genocide” and crimes against humanity during the conflict in Darfur (west).
Officials assured that the perpetrators of the “conspiracy” wanted to take control of the state media building. “All the positions which the putschists had seized” were “taken back”, according to the army.
Demonstrators protested in several towns. In Port Sudan (east), under Sudanese flags, dozens of them shouted “No to military power!” and “No to the coup!”, a witness named Mohammed Hassan told AFP. In Gedaref, also in the east, Amal Hussein, another witness, also mentioned student demonstrations.
Security forces, however, blocked the main bridge connecting Khartoum to its twin city of Omdurman, across the Nile.
The authors of the plot “have well prepared” their project, underlined the Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok in a televised speech. He mentioned “the deterioration of security (…) the blocking of roads, the closure of ports and the continued incitement against the civilian government”, while protesters have since Friday blocked the infrastructure of Port Sudan, economic lung of the country, to denounce a recent peace agreement with the rebels.
The Troika (United States, Great Britain and Norway), maneuvering on the Sudanese file, condemned the attempted coup while the UN mission in Sudan refused “any call to replace power. of transition by a military power ”.
“A real transition”
The powerful paramilitary leader and member of the Sovereignty Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, a former Bashir nicknamed “Hemedti”, had said: “We will not allow a coup”.
“We want a real democratic transition with free and fair elections,” he added, according to the official Suna agency.
In place for more than two years, the civil-military cabinet, born of an agreement with the movements that led the popular mobilization against Mr. Bashir, was supposed to take Sudan to fully civilian power in three years.
But his term was extended with the signing in October 2020 of a historic peace agreement with a coalition of rebel groups, leaving him until 2023 to carry out his mission.
The attempt “of coup d’etat (…) clearly underlines the importance of introducing reforms in the army and the security apparatus”, hammered Tuesday the Prime Minister.
The Hamdok government also wants to end the economic crisis, undertaking a series of difficult reforms to benefit from a debt relief program from the International Monetary Fund.
Sporadic protests have taken place against these reforms and the rising cost of living.