Sudan arrests suspects in connection to Hamdok’s failed assassination attempt

Photo: Sudanese army spokesman Brig. Gen. Amer Mohamed Hassan

March 11th 2020 (Nyamilepedia)Authorities in Sudan said on Tuesday that a number of suspects in connection with what the government called an assassination attempt against Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, in an incident that underlines the fragility of the country’s transition to civilian rule.

Officials and state media said on Monday Hamdok, 64, survived unharmed after a bomb and gun attack targeted his motorcade in the capital, Khartoum.

In a Twitter post, Hamdok said he was in “good shape” and that what had happened would be “an additional push to the wheel of change in Sudan”, where he heads a transitional government following the military overthrow in April last year of longtime President Omar al-Bashir in the face of months-long pro-democracy protests.

Khartoum Governor Ahmed Abdoon told Al Jazeera that a number of people suspected of involvement in the attack had been attacked, without providing additional details.

The country’s top prosecutor, Taj al-Ser Ali al-Hebr, said in a statement that prosecutors have embarked on their investigation into the “professionally plotted” attack.

Falih Salih, Sudan’s information minister, said an investigation was under way to determine who was behind the attack.

“Terrorist attempts and dismantling the old regime will be dealt with decisively,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s National Security and Defence Council said it was seeking the support of Sudan’s “friends” in investigating who was behind the assassination attempt.

Following a meeting on Monday, Interior Minister al-Traifi Daffallah Idriss said in a statement the council decided to “request the help of [Sudan’s] friends to uncover those involved in the attack and bringing them to justice”, the Sudan Tribune reported.

‘Very loud explosion’

The blast near Hamdok’s motorcade struck at around 9am local time (10:00 GST) close to Kober bridge while the prime minister was heading to his office, Ali Bakhit, his office director, said in a Facebook post.

A security officer was lightly wounded.

“The explosion was very loud and the glass from all four floors broke,” witness Alaa Eldeen Fahmi told Al Jazeera.

“I went out to see and found two cars badly damaged and another which I assumed was the prime minister’s car driving away with a security convoy,” he said.

After Monday’s attack, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded the anti-al-Bashir movement, called for further rallies to display unity and support for civilian rule.

A statement by the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance also called on people to take to the streets to “show our unity and cohesion … and protect the transitional authority”.

After the attack, dozens of demonstrators in Khartoum added their voice to a public show of support for Hamdok, chanting “with our blood and soul, we will sacrifice ourselves for you”.

“This is our homeland and Hamdok is our leader,” they said.

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