Khartoum — The Sudan government has arrested at least 14 high ranked army and security officials and several civilians connected to the ruling party of president Omar Al Bashir for an allegedly coupe attempt.
Radio Dabanga reports on Thursday, 22 November, that tanks were roaming the Ebed Khatim-road south of the Kober-bridge in Khartoum where many top officers including the president and vice-president are residing.
It is the first time that internal clashes within the ruling Islamic movements erupted to the surface. The movement sidetracked the leader of the Islamic movement, Ali Osman Taha, the vice-president of Sudan.
He was replaced by Zubair Ahmed Hassan, a Minister of Economic Affairs. The government spokesman said in a public appearance today that the 'coup'-stagers took disadvantage from rumors about the 'health situation of President Omar Al Bashir'.
Amongst the arrested people are retired major general Salah Abdalla Gosh (former security chief), general Adil Altayeb of the Sudan Armed Forces and Brigadier-general 'Wad' Mohamed Ibrahim. He was in charge to protect the oil fields in Kordofan (Heglig), but it failed after the Southern army walked in easily occupying the oil-wells preventing it from exploration. Only this week the first oil started to flow again.
According to a security spokesperson for Radio Dabanga, the main suspects of the alleged coup were arrested Thursday morning at 01:00, other arrests followed before sunrise. The spokesman of the government, the minister of Information Ahmed Bilal Osman said that the authorities discovered the 'coup'-attempt 'a long time ago'. "They initially want to do it last Thursday, but they decided a week later. We arrested them to prevent a bloodshed", Ahmed Bilal told the press.
Radio Dabanga received information that besides the 13 people mentioned by the minister at least one other army officer had been arrested early today.
The minister said the population should remain calm: "Everything is okay and the coup will not affect the Sudanese army, the security organs and the Popular Defense Forces. We intercepted communication about this coup. Let it be a warning: don't go far with rumors'.