Sudanese authorities have thwarted a coup attempt, the army said Tuesday, avoiding a challenge to a civil-military council that has ruled the country since Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019.
A civilian member of the ruling council told Reuters the situation was under control after the coup attempt was contained overnight. The questioning of the suspects should begin, said council member, spokesman Mohamed Al Faki Suleiman.
Leaders of the coup attempt have been arrested, a government spokesman said on state television, adding that “remnants” of the overthrown Bashir’s regime participated in the attempt.
The governing body known as the Sovereign Council has ruled Sudan under a fragile power-sharing arrangement between military and civilians following the overthrow of Bashir.
He plans to hold free elections in 2024.
“The army has defeated the coup attempt and the situation is completely under control,” the media adviser to the head of the Sovereign Council, General Abdelfattah al-Burhan, told the state news agency SUNA.
A government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the coup attempt had involved an effort to seize control of state radio in Omdurman, across the Nile River from the capital Khartoum.
Steps were being taken to contain a limited number of people involved, the source said. All those involved had been arrested, SUNA reported.
A witness said that military units loyal to the council had used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum to Omdurman early Tuesday morning.
It was not the first challenge to transitional authorities, who say they have thwarted or detected previous coup attempts linked to factions loyal to Bashir, who was deposed by the army after months of protests against his government.
In 2020, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok survived an assassination attempt on his convoy while on his way to work in Khartoum.
Sudan has been gradually welcomed into the international fold since the overthrow of Bashir, who ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years and is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged atrocities committed in Darfur in the early 2000s.
Bashir is currently in prison in Khartoum, where he faces several trials.
The ICC’s chief prosecutor held talks with Sudanese officials last month about accelerating steps to hand over those wanted in Darfur.
Sudan’s economy has been in deep crisis since before Bashir’s ouster and the transitional government has gone through a reform program overseen by the International Monetary Fund.
Underscoring Western support for the transitional authorities, the Paris Club of official creditors agreed in July to cancel $ 14 billion of Sudan’s debt and restructure the remainder of the more than $ 23 billion it owed to club members.
But the economy continues to struggle with rapid inflation and a shortage of goods and services.