Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 April 2020

Sudan bolsters measures to drive out Al Bashir supporters

The latest push follows an assassination attempt against interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Monday

Sudan’s ruling council is increasing efforts to drive out loyalists of deposed former president Omar Al Bashir after an assassination attempt against interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

American FBI investigators will help Sudan make inquiries into the failed assassination attempt, the Sudanese culture and information minister Faisal Mohammed Saleh said on Wednesday.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast targeting Mr Hamdok’s motorcade on Monday, but the country’s ruling council said Al Bashir loyalists will be firmly dealt with, indicating the attack may have links with supporters of the old regime.

Al Bashir was overthrown in April last year after months of nationwide protests against his autocratic rule. A joint military-civilian government was set up to oversee Sudan’s transition to democratic rule the following August, with Mr Hamdok at the helm.

The ruling council has already taken steps to disempower Al Bashir’s supporters but new measures will now bring a branch of Sudan’s security services that had close links with the country's autocratic former President under government control.

A committee set up to dismantle the old regime will also be given additional powers, sovereign council spokesman Mohamed Al-Faki said in a statement. The committee has already moved to disband the former ruling party and dismiss senior officials at banks and embassies.

The attack highlights the fragility of Sudan’s transition to civilian rule following the power-sharing deal between the pro-democracy movement and armed forces last August.

Mr Hamdok tweeted on Monday to say that he was “safe and in good shape” after the explosion, which happened en route to his office in Khartoum.

“Rest assured that what happened today will not stand in the way of our transition, instead it is an additional push to the wheel of change in Sudan,” he added in a brief statement on Twitter.

The attack came less than two months after an armed revolt by rogue intelligence officers led to a tense stand-off with the armed forces that shut down the capital’s airport and left at least two people dead.

Updated: March 11, 2020 07:10 PM

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