Sudan Thwarts a Coup It Links to Ex-Dictator’s Regime
Sudan foiled a coup allegedly staged by military officers and supporters of ousted ruler Omar al-Bashir, the latest upheaval in the African country that’s trying to emerge from decades of dictatorship.
The uprising was brought under control and its leaders arrested, Information Minister Hamza Balloul said Tuesday in a statement, adding that authorities were pursuing “remnants of the defunct regime.” The coup attempt was performed by both military and non-military actors, according to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
“What happened is an orchestrated coup by factions inside and outside the armed forces and this is an extension of the attempts by remnants since the fall of the former regime to abort the civilian democratic transition,” Hamdok said on the state broadcaster. They had tried to shut down roads and access to ports in the east of the country where anti-government protests had erupted in recent days, he said.
Sudanese forces quelled a mutiny at a military barracks in Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak to the media. Some roads in the cities were briefly closed earlier and there was a military presence on the streets, while Asharq News reported a failed attempt to seize the state TV and radio building.
The incident starkly underlined the challenges faced by Sudan, which has shed its status as an international pariah and is trying to rebuild its economy and transition to democracy after Bashir was ousted by the army in April 2019 amid a popular uprising. An uneasy coalition of civilian and military figures is leading the country in a transitional government until democratic elections.
Reforms implemented by the interim administration have helped Sudan secure funding from the International Monetary Fund and a pledge by the Paris Club of creditors to rework $23.5 billion of its debt. Still, many question the army’s commitment to surrendering power, while authorities have long warned of the threat posed by disgruntled remnants of the dictator’s three-decade rule.
Recent days have seen protests in eastern Sudan, home to Red Sea ports that are a commercial lifeline, prompted in part by discontent with components of a peace deal the transitional government is trying to enact with rebels and opposition movements across the country.
The failed coup follows several military takeovers in Africa this year, including in Guinea earlier this month, Mali and Chad.
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