France state

Sudanese state media report ‘failed’ coup attempt

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Khartoum (AFP)

A coup attempt in Sudan “failed” on Tuesday morning, state media reported, as the country grapples with a fragile transition since the 2019 ousting of longtime President Omar al-Bashir.

Senior military and government sources told AFP the attempt involved a group of officers who were “immediately suspended” after “failing” to take control of the state media building.

“There was a failed coup attempt, the people have to face it,” state television said, without giving details.

A senior official in Sudan’s governing body, Taher Abuhaja, said “an attempt to seize power has been foiled”.

Another high-ranking member of the governing body, Mohamed al-Fekki said: “Everything is under control and the revolution is victorious.

Traffic appeared to go smoothly in central Khartoum, AFP correspondents reported, including around the army headquarters, where protesters staged a mass sit-in that ultimately led to the ousting Bashir in a coup in the palace.

Security forces have, however, closed the main Nile bridge connecting Khartoum to its sister city Omdurman.

– Two years in transition –

Sudan is currently ruled by a transitional government composed of civilian and military representatives that was installed following the overthrow of Bashir in April 2019 and is tasked with overseeing the return to full civilian rule.

The August 2019 power-sharing agreement originally provided for the formation of a legislative assembly during a three-year transition, but this period was reset when Sudan signed a peace accord with a alliance of rebel groups last October.

More than two years later, the country remains plagued by chronic economic problems inherited from Bashir’s regime as well as deep divisions between the various factions driving the transition.

The promised legislature has yet to materialize.

The government, headed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, is committed to repairing the country’s economy and forging peace with the rebel groups that fought Bashir’s regime.

In recent months, his government has embarked on a series of drastic economic reforms to benefit from debt relief from the International Monetary Fund.

The measures, which included cutting subsidies and a managed float of the Sudanese pound, were seen by many Sudanese as too harsh.

Sporadic protests have erupted against IMF-backed reforms and rising costs of living, as well as delays in bringing justice to the families of those killed under Bashir.

On Monday, demonstrators blocked key roads as well as the country’s main commercial center, Port Sudan, to protest the peace deal signed with rebel groups last year.