Sudan: a coup foiled in a climate of tension

The coup attempt was cut short on Tuesday, September 21, in Sudan, if we are to believe the transitional authorities. It was through public television that the Sudanese were informed. The Minister of Information, Hamza Baloul, told them on the air that a “Failed coup attempt, led by a group of officers of the armed forces and civilians from the old regime (…), was brought under control at dawn. “

According to the rare information disseminated on the subject by the Sudanese authorities, the putschistsall linked to former President Omar El Bashir, overthrown two years ago by a popular revolt reportedly tried to take over the state media. The authors of the conspiracy “Have well prepared” their project, assured Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok in a televised speech. According to local media, 40 officers involved in the coup attempt were arrested. “Eleven officers and several soldiers who participated in the failed plot”, says the army.


This coup is part of a climate of tension between the Sovereignty Council and part of the population who suspect it of not wanting to hand over power to civilians. Set up two years ago, this structure, which mixes civilians and the main military leaders of the old regime, was supposed to lead the country to fully civilian power in three years.

→ ANALYSIS. In Sudan, two years after the revolution, the army slows down the transition

But his mandate was extended with the signing, in October 2020, of a peace agreement with a coalition of rebel groups, leaving him until 2023 to carry out his mission. And raising the suspicion of the population.

Several protests against the increase in the cost of living, the recent peace agreement with rebel groups and the military takeover have been taking place in several towns in recent times. Thus, demonstrators have been blocking, since Friday, the infrastructures of Port-Sudan, the economic heart of the country.

A general condemnation

As soon as this coup attempt was known, the international community expressed its support for the Sovereignty Council. First, the United States, the main nation engaged with Sudan. “United States condemns unsuccessful attempt to seize power of Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government (CLTG) by malicious military and civilian actors”, said Ned Price, spokesperson for the United States Department of State.

Washington’s voice mingled with those of Great Britain and Norway, its two allies in the troika maneuvering over the Sudanese dossier. UN Secretary General António Guterres has warned against anything that would undermine the “political transition”.

The President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, welcomed the failure of the coup in a statement. On this occasion, specifies this press release, it encourages all actors to stand firmly alongside the legal authorities of the transition resulting from the consensual will of the national civil and military forces. “

The game of Omar El Béchir

This coup attempt is not the first to target the Sudanese transitional government. In March 2020, Sudanese Prime Minister Abadalla Hamdok was the target of an assassination attempt.

→ READ. Omar El Béchir, thirty years of bloody reign

Former President Omar El Bashir, currently in prison, is suspected of wanting to regain power by force. He would have many allies even within the transition. He himself came to power in a coup in 1989, before ruling the country with an iron fist for 30 years. Currently on trial for his participation in the same coup, he is also claimed by the International Criminal Court for “Genocide” and crimes against humanity during the conflict in Darfur.


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