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Sudan Military Council Says Thwarted Military Coup

Sudan Military Council Says Thwarted Military Coup

Friday, 12 July, 2019 - 05:00
Members of Sudan's alliance of opposition and protest groups chant slogans outside Sudan's Central Bank during the second day of a strike in Khartoum, Sudan May 29, 2019. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The ruling military council in Sudan announced Thursday that it had foiled a military coup.

Lieutenant General Gamal Omar, a member of the council, said in a statement that at least 16 active and retired military officers were arrested.

Security forces were pursuing the group's leader and additional officers who took part in plotting the coup attempt, he said.

The council did not reveal the name of the attempted leader, his rank or other details. The statement also said five of the arrested officers were retired.

"The attempted coup came in a critical time, ahead of the deal with the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change," Omar said, referring to the group that speaks for the pro-democracy demonstrators.

The military council and coalition of opposition and protest groups agreed provisionally last week to share power for three years, bringing thousands onto the streets to hail a first step towards ending decades of autocratic rule.

The deal has revived hopes for a peaceful transition of power in a country plagued by internal conflicts and years of economic crisis that helped trigger months of protests, which ended Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule in April.

The agreement has yet to be finalized and signed.

Relations between the military council that ousted Bashir in a coup and the Forces for Freedom and Change alliance broke down when security forces killed dozens as they cleared a sit-in on June 3. But after huge protests against the military, African mediators brokered a return to direct talks, which led to the deal.

The arrangement is to include a joint sovereign council of five civilians representing the protest movement and five military members. An 11th seat is to go to a civilian chosen by both sides. The protesters will select a cabinet of technocrats and a legislative council is to be formed after three months.

The two sides also agreed on an independent Sudanese investigation into the deadly crackdown, but the details have yet to be worked out.

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