Sudan’s military says it thwarted coup attempt

FILE PHOTO: Members of Sudan's alliance of opposition and protest groups chant slogans outside Sudan's Central Bank during the second day of a strike, as tensions mounted with the country's military rulers over the transition to democracy, in Khartoum, Sudan May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

Sudan’s military says it arrested an unspecified number of senior officers in connection with a plot to restore the party of ousted President Omar al-Bashir to power.

Among those involved in the alleged coup attempt include General Hashim Abdel Mottalib Ahmed, head of the joint chiefs of staff; a number of high-ranking officers from the armed forces and the National Intelligence and Security Service; and leaders of the National Congress Party and the Islamic Movement party Bashir also headed.

The military also detained General Bakri Hassan Saleh, who served as first vice president and prime minister until months before Bashir was ousted, sources close to the military council said. He was a leading figure in the 1989 coup that brought Bashir to power and was one of his closest confidants throughout his 30-year rule.

Also detained was Ali Karty, an influential former foreign minister widely believed to currently head the Islamic Movement and Al-Zubair Ahmed Hassan, a former finance minister who was secretary-general of the Islamic Movement until Bashir’s was deposed are also in custody.

The military said in a statement: “The failed attempt aims to abort your glorious revolution and to return the former National Congress regime to power, and to disrupt the path before the expected political solution that aims to establish a civilian state”.

It was not clear when the attempted coup happened, but the military’s statement said it had been monitoring a failed coup attempt in the “past weeks” and was now uncovering its details.

The ruling military council took over after the military ousted Bashir on April 11 following weeks of street protests.

It is working with an alliance of protest and opposition groups to finalise a power-sharing deal for a three-year transition towards elections, a process that has repeatedly stalled.

They are due to resume talks on Saturday.