KHARTOUM (Reuters) – The Sudanese prosecutor’s office on Tuesday ordered the arrest of former foreign minister Ali Karti for his role in the 1989 coup which brought Omar al-Bashir to power.
It said in a statement that Karti’s assets would be frozen and that arrest warrants had been issued for five other people, including Omar Suleiman, a former head of a parliamentary chamber and the man believed to have accompanied Bashir to Khartoum, the capital, during the coup.
Bashir, who was ousted in April following mass protests against his 30-year rule, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is facing an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.
March 11, 2020 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government spokesman on Wednesday announced the arrest of several people including foreigners suspected of being involved in the assassination of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok Last Monday.
In a regular meeting chaired by Hamdok, the Council of Ministers was briefed by the Interior Minister Lt Gen al-Tarifi Idris and Director of the General Intelligence Agency (GIA), Lt Gen Jamal Abdel Majid, about the bombing attack on the convoy of the Prime Minister last Monday 9 March.
The Minister of Information and government spokesman Faisal Mohamed Saleh told reporters after the meeting that investigations into the incident are still continuing.
He further announced the arrest of several suspects, including foreigners, and confirmed the arrival of a team of U.S. security experts to join the investigation team.
Last February, the Sudanese security organs said they arrested a group of individuals manufacturing explosives in the Eastern Nile district of Khartoum state, including a foreigner.
They disclosed the terrorist elements planned to kill Sudanese officials tasked with the dismantlement of the former regime.
At the time, the prosecutor said the arrested individuals belong to an Islamist violent group without further details and they arrived in the country 6 months ago, with forged Syrian travel documents, to carry out bomb attacks.
“The government has requested the help of the (FBI) due to its experience and the modern technologies it has, especially as Sudan is a country that has no experience in dealing with this kind of incident.”
Saleh added that “international anti-terrorism treaties obligate states to make use of various experiences to address these issues”.
The minister, also, said the GIA and police investigation teams are working in a joint team and that additional security measures have been taken to ensures the safety of the prime minister.
“There will be new security measures and plans to maintain the safety and security of the country. These measures will not affect public freedoms and rights granted to Sudanese citizens according to the Constitutional Document,” he further added.
The Transitional Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers on Tuesday evening held a joint meeting with the Force for Freedom and Change (FFC) to discuss the security situation in the country.
The tripartite meeting decided to expedite the reorganization of the Internal Security Agency and to affiliate with the Ministry of Interior.
Further, the meeting directed [to ]enhance the monitoring and follow-up of all individuals belonging to terrorist or banned groups as well as groups and organisations with anti-revolutionary goals and [ is] taking precautionary measures against them.
State television says prime minister is safe after blast in the capital, Khartoum.
9 Mar 2020
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has survived an assassination attempt after a blast near his convoy in the capital, Khartoum.
Hamdok wrote on Twitter he was “safe and in good shape” following Monday’s explosion.
“What happened will not stop the path of change, it will be nothing but an additional push in the strong waves of the revolution,” added the veteran economist, who became prime minister in August, months after a pro-democracy movement forced the army to remove longtime President Bashar al-Bashir.
Hamdok also shared a photo of himself smiling and seated at his desk, while a TV behind him showed news coverage reporting he had survived.
Members of Hamdok’s office told Al Jazeera the attack happened as the prime minister was heading to his office.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Footage posted online showed two damaged white vehicles used by Sudan’s top officials parked on a street. Another vehicle was badly damaged in the blast.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s security council in a statement condemned the attack, saying it would seek help from friendly countries to identify those involved and bring them to justice.
Falih Salih, Sudan’s information minister, said an investigation was under way to determine who was behind the attack.
“Terrorist attempts and dismantling the old regime will be dealt with decisively,” he said.
Al-Bashir’s overthrow last April was followed by months of negotiations between the military and the pro-democracy movement.
The two sides reached a power-sharing deal in August which established a joint military-civilian, 11-member sovereign council that will govern Sudan for the next three years, when elections are scheduled to be held.
The prime minister has pledged to work towards ending the country’s economic crisis and establishing peace.
Born in 1956 in south-central Kordofan province, Hamdok has more than 30 years of experience as an economist and senior policy analyst specialising in economic development across Africa.
The site of an assassination attempt against Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok [Ashraf Shazly/AFP]
Rescue teams and security forces next to damaged vehicles at the site of the assassination attempt [Ashraf Shazly/AFP]
Chairman of Sudan’s sovereign council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, pledged on Saturday to restructure the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in line with the needs of the transitional phase.
“We will all work on restructuring the military and the rapid respond forces to guarantee their development in respect with the current and future needs and in line with the mission for which those forces were first established,” he said during a military graduation ceremony in Omdurman
He also pledged to be responsible for reorganizing and structuring those forces according to the constitution.
The RSF is headed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, who is also deputy Chairman of the Sovereign Council.
Burhan noted that Sudan is on the verge of a new phase.
“During this transitional phase, we seek to build a regular, professional and specialized force capable of achieving its national duties,” he said.
He pledged that the forces would work on protecting Sudan during the transitional phase.
In October, Burhan ordered a major army restructure, appointing General Mohamed Osman al-Hussein as chief of staff. He also promoted a number of officers to the rank of colonel and referred others to retirement.
His orders were consistent with the provisions of the constitutional document governing the transitional phase, which granted military and security services the authority to restructure the army and other security forces.
For his part, Dagolo told the that the armed forces and RSF are bound by duty to protect the democratic process in Sudan, which will eventually lead to the staging of free and transparent elections.
His public support for Sudan’s bid to attract investors, by getting off the sanctions list, could help.
“I am here to say that we are happy with the changes in Sudan and public is interested in that as well,” he said.
“The Sudanese people should be proud to overthrow a regime that has suffered so much.”
President Steinmeier acknowledged challenges facing Sudan and Germany but said that there is encouragement for the next steps.
“We know the difficult economic situation and that Sudan needs access to international financial institutions,” Mr Steinmeier told a joint press conference with Premier Hamdok on Thursday.
“I assured Hamdok that Germany can be relied on and pointed out the economic potentials and that work is ongoing to improve the situation permanently. Germany is ready to support the peace process in the future.”
The German leader had visited Burkina Faso and Kenya, vowing support for development and trade, as well as international cooperation to defend what he called multilateralism: cooperation through international bodies.
Germany, for example, has announced that it will increase its contribution towards fighting locust invasion in East Africa, providing an additional $18.7 million to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, making its total commitment $21.99 million.
But in Sudan, where food shortage and hard economic times have been felt just as much, the problem is the restriction to international assistance.
Officially, the US lists Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and a USA court has issued a verdict demanding that Khartoum pays families of victims of a US warship bombed in a Yemen port in 2001.
The terror merchants of that incident were reportedly trained in Sudan, where then al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden had stayed in the 80s.
The German leader argued it should be fair for a transitional government to continue paying for the illegal acts of the past regimes.
Germany had sent in its Foreign Minister when Hadmok was sworn in last year.
This visit indicated thawing relations with Germany itself, which had been in a lull for three decades of Bashir’s rule.
Steinmeier’s talks with al-Burhan, dealt with the joint relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them, in addition to the role that Germany can play in supporting Sudan economically and politically.
Al-Burhan said the discussions focused “on issues of mutual interest, future cooperation and the required German support”.
In the joint press conference after the joint talks session in the Cabinet, Hamdok said Berlin’s decision to lift the development ban on Sudan establishes strong ties.
But he added, “We aspire to more cooperation and there are many areas including energy, electricity, mining, education, media. These are areas that allow joint action.”