Ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is seen inside the cage of the accused during his trial and that of some of his former allies for the 1989 military coup that brought the autocrat to the power in 1989, in a courthouse in Khartoum, Sudan, September 15, 2020. REUTERS / Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / File photo

  • Government accuses Bashir loyalists in attempted coup
  • Khartoum streets are quiet, witness says
  • Coup indicates difficult path for government
  • Elections to replace the military-civilian council expected in 2024

KHARTOUM, Sept.21 (Reuters) – Sudanese authorities said they foiled an attempted coup on Tuesday, accusing followers of ousted President Omar al-Bashir of trying to overthrow the revolution that ousted him from power in 2019 and ushered in a transition to democracy.

In a brief statement on state television, the military said the situation was under control. The streets of the capital Khartoum appeared quiet, with people moving as usual and no unusual deployment of security forces, a witness said.

The coup attempt shows the difficult path facing a government that has reoriented Sudan since 2019, securing Western debt relief and taking steps to normalize ties with Israel, while battling a serious economic crisis and facing the challenges of those who remain loyal to Bashir.

A governing body known as the Sovereign Council has been ruling Sudan under a fragile power-sharing deal between the military and civilians since the overthrow of Bashir, an Islamist shunned by the West who has presided over Sudan for nearly three decades.

Elections are expected in 2024.

A government spokesperson said the remnants of Bashir’s government were involved in the attempted coup.

“We assure the Sudanese people that the situation is under full control as the civilian and military organizers of the coup attempt have been arrested and are currently being questioned,” spokesman Hamza Balol said on television. of state.

Authorities continued to pursue Bashir loyalists who had participated, he said.

Early Tuesday morning, a witness said military units loyal to the council used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum to Omdurman, just across the Nile.

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

One of Sudan’s biggest political parties, the Umma Party, called on citizens to resist the attempted coup, which it described as “a continuation of desperate attempts to abort our glorious officer revolution. loyal to the old regime “.

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

Religious Affairs Minister Nasr Eldeen Mofarih also appeared to blame Bashir’s followers.

“Now is the time to sweep the remnants of Islamists from our political and military institutions,” he wrote on Twitter.

STRIKES AND CONFLICTS

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

In 2020, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok survived an assassination attempt in Khartoum.

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

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

Despite a peace agreement signed last year with some Sudanese rebels, unrest has intensified in recent months in the western region of Darfur as well as local clashes in eastern Sudan.

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 cancel $ 14 billion in Sudanese debt. But the Sudanese are still grappling with rapid inflation and shortages.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Ali Mirghani Writing by Aidan Lewis and Tom Perry; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Giles Elgood and Angus MacSwan

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