Sudanese authorities thwart coup attempt and arrest plotters

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Sudanese authorities have foiled an attempted coup, the army said on Tuesday, avoiding defying a civil-military council that has been ruling the country since the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

A civilian member of the ruling council told Reuters the situation was under control after the overnight coup attempt was contained. The questioning of the suspects was due to begin, said council member, spokesman Mohamed Al Faki Suleiman.

The leaders of the coup attempt have been arrested, a government spokesperson said on state television, adding that “remnants” of the ousted Bashir regime were involved in the attempt.

The ruling body known as the Sovereign Council ruled Sudan under a fragile power-sharing deal between the military and civilians following Bashir’s overthrow.

He plans to hold free elections in 2024.

“The army has defeated the coup attempt and the situation is completely under control,” media adviser to the head of the Sovereign Council, General Abdelfattah al-Burhan, told the SUNA state news agency.

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

Steps were taken to contain a limited number of those involved, the source said. Everyone involved had been arrested, SUNA reported.

A witness said military units loyal to the council used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum to Omdurman early Tuesday morning.

This was not the first challenge to the transitional authorities, who say they have foiled or detected previous coup attempts linked to factions loyal to Bashir, who was deposed by the military after months of protests against his diet.

In 2020, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok survived an assassination attempt on his convoy as it headed for Khartoum.

Sudan has been gradually welcomed into the international fold since the overthrow of Bashir, who ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years and is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged atrocities committed in Darfur in the early 2000s.

Bashir is currently in prison in Khartoum, where he faces several trials.

The ICC chief prosecutor held talks with Sudanese officials last month about stepping up measures to return wanted people to Darfur.

The Sudanese economy has been in the throes of a deep crisis since before Bashir’s impeachment and the transitional government underwent a reform program overseen by the International Monetary Fund.

Underlining Western support for the transitional authorities, the Paris Club of official creditors agreed in July to write off $ 14 billion in Sudanese debt and restructure the remainder of the more than $ 23 billion it owed to members of the club.

But the economy is still grappling with rapid inflation and shortages of goods and services.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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