18 August 2013

Sudan: Army Dismisses Reports of a Fresh Coup Attempt

Khartoum — The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has denied that it thwarted a coup attempt led by active duty and retired army officers last Thursday, describing these reports as "rumors aimed to causing confusion".

The pro-opposition al-Rakoba website was first to report this alleged coup attempt which was later picked up by social media networks which widely circulated it.

Al-Rakoba said the aborted coup attempt was in its very early staged and involved a relative of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir.

Authorities kept the incident under very tight wraps to avoid it reaching the media, the website added. Bloggers attributed the government's silence to the presence of Bashir's relative whose identity was not disclosed by al-Rakoba.

SAF's spokesperson, Colonel. Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad, scoffed at those blogs, saying that they only seek to create confusion and disarray among Sudanese people.

He described, in a statement to Al-Ahram Al-Youm daily newspaper on Saturday, the report as an "outright lie", and stressed that the army is determined to safeguard the country's gains and protect its soil and borders.

Last November the Sudanese government said that it uncovered a "sabotage" attempt that was later upgraded and labeled as a coup. Authorities arrested dozens of suspects in the army and security apparatus including ex-spy chief Salah Gosh and Brigadier General Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Galil who served in Bashir's security detail at one point.

All detainees were later released after president Omer Hassan al-Bashir issued decrees commuting their sentences allowing them to be freed immediately. Gosh and one of his aides had charges against them dropped before reaching trial.

There is mounting frustration within the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) base and its ideological arm, the Islamic Movement (IM) over what they view as stagnation of leadership and growing corruption and abuse of power in government circles.

Bashir and the NCP have repeatedly promised major overhaul in the party and the government but supporters and observers alike are skeptical that real reforms will be introduced.

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