22 November 2012

Sudan: 'Coup d'état' - Sources Share Their Views

Photo: Daily Nation
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (file photo): It is not clear what the scope of the sabotage attempt was and there is no indication that this was a coup attempt against the government.

Khartoum — In light of the recent unrests in Khartoum on Thursday, 22 November, opposition political forces, armed movements and experts shared their views about what the 'coup attempt' entails and what its implications might be.

Popular Congress Party: 'sabotage'

Kamal Omar, political affairs secretary of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Dr. Hassan al-Turabi, said the announcement made by the regime in Khartoum is an attempt to sabotage fragmentations within the regime.

Omar suggested these fragmentations, which included the search for a successor for the Sudanese head of state, seemed to emerge during 8th General Conference of the Islamic Movement (IM) led by President Omar al-Bashir in the country's capital.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the secretary also suggested the federal government is exploiting the situation to impose additional restrictions on public freedoms and for harassment. In addition, he continued, security services are using the circumstances to suppress the opposition.

Omar stressed that, despite the measures, the government will not be able to prevent the collapse of the entire system from the inside. Besides, this will not stop the National Opposition Forces from continuing to their plans to peacefully topple the regime.

JEM: 'disputes'

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) welcomed the arrest of Salah Gosh, former security chief, and of other members of the regime, who 'committed crimes against the people of Sudan, especially in Darfur'.

The movement's spokesman, Jibril Adam Bilal, stressed to Radio Dabanga that Gosh and the rest of the group who attempted the coup ─and still are in power─ are wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Bilal said the current scenario emphasizes the dispute within the National Congress Party (NCP) itself and also within the political and military arenas in Sudan. He expects the situation to become more critical and predicted that more disputes may arise between the ruling forces.

SLM-AN: 'illusion'

The spokesman of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdelwahid al-Nur (SLM-AN), Nimr Mohamed Abdel Rahman, said the coup attempt is an illusion for some NCP leaders that change will happen, as they became international and local outcasts and are wanted by the ICC.

He believes that while some 'names and faces may change with the coup' the rest will remain the same as long as policies and the regime do not change.

Lastly, Rahman stated he wants the NCP and the Islamic regime to be 'completely washed away from control'.

SLM-MM: 'propaganda'

Abdullah Mursal, spokesman of SLM-Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) described the coup attempt as 'fake'. He also said this is a 'propaganda' carried out by the NCP as it comes in a time of disputes inside the ruling party.

He added the SLM-MM believes this situation will lead to a newly formed army. However, he continued, the new military will still be a part of the NCP, which on its turn is guilty of committing genocide and crimes against the Sudanese people.

The spokesman asserted to Radio Dabanga that a radical change within the system is required, but that it should include the rebuilding and restructuring of a new Sudanese state.

Analysts: 'conflicts between branches of the regime'

Experts and political analysts said that the move, if true, happened in the context of conflicts between branches within the regime.

They also said that most of the Sudanese army does not support Minister of Defense Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, who is accused of corruption. In addition, Hussein's inability to defeat JEM when it invaded Omdurman in 2008 also made him lose support.

Sources claim the minister should have been able to stop JEM, as the rebels covered thousands of kilometers in the open air, from the far west of Sudan, and were still able to enter and control Omdurman for several hours.

Other experts suspect that the coup attempt is a scenario built by top NCP leaders in an effort to arrest and dismiss elements in power who are against the regime.

They reminded that a memorandum supported by thousands of Islamists, including members of the army who are still in power, was raised in which they demanded reforms within the regime.

Analysts and experts consider this coup an effort of the federal government to hinder freedom and to give an excuse to arrest the opposition in addition to creating sympathy for al-Bashir.

Lastly, they said that whether a military coup happens or not, the problems of Sudan would not be solved and that this will not bring sympathy for the president, stating the people are fed-up with the government.

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