Sat | Oct 16, 2021

Sudanese officials say coup attempt failed, army in control

Published:Tuesday | September 21, 2021 | 2:05 PM
Sudanese soldiers walk in front of the office of the Sudanese Council of Ministers, in Khartoum, Sudan, Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Sudanese authorities reported a coup attempt on Tuesday by a group of soldiers but said the attempt failed and that the military remains in control. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

Sudanese authorities reported a coup attempt Tuesday by a group of soldiers but said the attempt failed and the country's ruling council and military remain in control.

The development underscored the fragility of Sudan's path to democracy, more than two years after the military's overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir amid a public uprising against his three-decade rule.

Sudan's state-run television called on the public “to counter” the coup attempt but did not provide further details.

“All is under control. The revolution is victorious,” Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, a member of the ruling military-civilian council, wrote on Facebook.

He also called for the Sudanese to protect the transition.

A senior 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.

He said the attempt began at dawn and that a group of soldiers had tried to seize the military headquarters and the state television station in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman to read a statement to citizens.

The content of the statement was not immediately clear.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media, said over three dozen troops, including high-ranking officers, were arrested.

Al-Tahir Abu Haja, a media consultant for the military's chief, said in a televised statement that at least 21 suspected officers and some troops were arrested and that authorities were searching for other suspects in the failed attempt.

Footage circulated online showing troops and armoured vehicles deployed to main roads and intersections in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Security was also boosted at the military headquarters and other government buildings in the city.

Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi, a member of the sovereign council, called the attempt a “foolish and bad choice.”

“The option of military coups has left us only a failed and weak country,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The path towards democratic transition and securing the country's political future and unity remains one option.”

Later, in a statement read on the state-run TV, Culture and Information Minister Hamza Baloul said security forces have arrested civilian and military leaders behind the coup attempt, and that they have been interrogated after the military managed to get the armoured corps' camp south of Khartoum under control.

Baloul, who is also the government spokesman, said authorities were chasing others “from the remnants” of al-Bashir's regime who were suspects in orchestrated the attempted coup.

He did not give further details.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok blamed remnants of al-Bashir's government for the coup attempt, describing it as an effort to undermine Sudan's democratic transition.

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