Coup attempt rears up in Sudan

The Sudanese government on Tuesday accused loyalists of ousted President Omar al-Bashir of attempting to stage a coup, but said the perpetrators including civilians and soldiers had been rounded and the situation swiftly brought under control. 

“We brought under control a coup attempt by military officers early Tuesday. Authorities have arrested leaders of the failed plot, which involved military officers and civilians belonging to the defunct regime,” said Information Minister Hamza Baloul.  

On its part, the army leadership, said in another statement on state TV, that the situation was under control, an indication that there might not be respite yet for al-Bashir, who had been accused of so many atrocities in his decades-old rule, which came to an end in April 2019.

The former Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, for allegations of crime against humanity and genocide based on his years of bloody onslaught against the people of Darfur region of Southern Sudan.

Reports about the latest incident, quoting witnesses, the streets of the capital Khartoum appeared calm, with people moving around as usual and no unusual deployments of security forces, indicating that the situation might indeed be under control.

Agency reports, say the coup attempt points to the difficult path facing a government that has reoriented Sudan since 2019, winning Western debt relief and taking steps to normalise ties with Israel, while battling a severe economic crisis and facing down challenges from those still loyal to Bashir.

A ruling body known as the Sovereign Council has run Sudan under a fragile power-sharing deal between the military and civilians since the overthrow of Bashir, an Islamist shunned by the West who presided over Sudan for nearly three decades.

A government spokesman said remnants of the government of Bashir, who is presently in prison in Khartoum, where he faces several trials had participated in the coup attempt, adding that the authorities had continued to pursue those involved in the attempt. 

“We assure the Sudanese people that the situation is under complete control as the civilian and military organisers of the coup attempt have been arrested, and they are being interrogated now,” spokesman Hamza Balol said on state TV.

Early on Tuesday morning, a witness said military units loyal to the council had used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum with nearby Omdurman, just across the River Nile.

A government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the coup attempt had involved an effort to take control of state radio in Omdurman.

One of Sudan’s largest political parties, the Umma Party, called for citizens to resist the coup attempt, which it described as “a continuation of desperate attempts to abort our glorious revolution from officers loyal to the former regime.”

(Agency report)