Sudan general says army ready to face any enemy threat

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrives to meet with police officials at the headquarters of the "police house" in the capital Khartoum on December 30, 2018 (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir greets his supporters at a rally in Khartoum, Sudan, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Al-Bashir told the gathering of several thousands of supporters in the capital that he is ready to step down only “through election.” The remarks come after three weeks of anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Hjaj)

A top Sudanese general said on Tuesday the armed forces were ready to face any threat to the country in the first such remarks in over five weeks of anti-government protests, state media reported.

“We confirm the readiness of our armed forces to respond to any conspiracies by the enemy,” the official news agency SUNA quoted the army’s Deputy Chief of Staff, General Essameddine Mubarak as saying.

He was addressing the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum, both of which have been rocked by protests since December 19.

“The armed forces are committed to protect the country and its residents. The forces are aware of the enemy’s threat,” Mubarak said, without specifying the nature of the threats or who the enemies were.

Angry crowds have been taking to the streets since December to protest a government decision to triple the price of bread. But the demonstrations have grown into anti-government rallies calling on President Omar al-Bashir to step down.