Sudan coup attempt has failed, state media reports

A coup attempt in Sudan has failed, state media has reported, as the country grapples with a fragile transition since the 2019 ousting of the longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

Top military and government sources said on Tuesday the attempt involved a group of officers who were “immediately suspended” after they failed to take over the state media building.

“There has been a failed coup attempt, the people should confront it,” state television said, without elaborating.

Taher Abuhaja, a senior member of Sudan’s ruling body, said “an attempt to seize power has been thwarted”.

Another member, Mohamed al-Fekki, said: “Everything is under control and the revolution is victorious.”

Traffic appeared to be flowing smoothly in central Khartoum, including around army headquarters, where protesters staged a sit-in that eventually led to Bashir’s ousting in a palace coup.

Security forces did, however, close the main bridge across the Nile connecting Khartoum to its twin city, Omdurman.

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

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

More than two years later, the country remains plagued by chronic economic problems inherited from the Bashir regime as well as deep divisions among the various factions steering the transition. The promised legislative assembly has yet to materialise.

The government – led by the prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok – has vowed to fix the country’s battered economy and forge peace with rebel groups who fought the Bashir regime.

In recent months, his government has implemented a series of tough economic policies to qualify for debt relief from the International Monetary Fund. The steps, which included slashing subsidies and a managed float of the currency, were seen by many Sudanese as too harsh.

Sporadic protests have broken out against the IMF-backed changes and the rising cost of living, as well as delays to deliver justice to the families of those killed under Bashir.

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

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