Aborted coup in Sudan, plotters arrested

Abdel-Fattah Burhan

Sudanese military leader, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan: says the seizure of power by the military in Sudan was to stop the country from sliding into civil war.

Sudanese authorities have contained a coup attempt and the situation has been brought under control, a member of the country’s ruling council said on Tuesday.

Interrogation of suspects involved in the attempted coup on Monday was due to begin and the military would issue a statement shortly, spokesman Mohamed Suleiman said.

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

Measures were being taken to contain a limited number of people involved, the source said.

A witness said that the military had used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum with Omdurman early on Tuesday morning.

Sudan’s Sovereign Council spokesperson Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman said Tuesday that the Sudanese army will issue a statement shortly to address the latest developments.

“All is under control. The revolution is victorious,” he wrote on Facebook, calling on the Sudanese to protect the transition.

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A military official said an unspecified number of troops from the armoured corps were behind the attempt and that they tried to take over several government institutions but were stopped in their tracks.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, told The Associated Press (AP) many troops, including high-ranking officers, have been arrested.

Sudan has been on a fragile path to democratic rule since the military’s ouster of the country’s longtime autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, following four months of mass protests.

The country is now ruled by a joint civilian and military government that faces towering economic and security challenges.

Deep political divisions and chronic economic problems have overshadowed the fragile transition. In recent months, the government has undertaken a series of tough economic reforms to qualify for debt relief from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The steps, which included slashing subsidies and a managed float of the Sudanese pound, were seen by many Sudanese as too harsh. Sporadic protests have broken out against the IMF-backed reforms and the rising cost of living.

Transitional authorities have said they had foiled or detected previous coup attempts linked to factions loyal to Bashir.