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Bashir’s health a key driver for coup attempt says presidential assistant


December 15, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The participants in an alleged coup attempt uncovered last month in Sudan justified their move in saying that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s poor health will not enable him to carry out his duties, presidential assistant said today.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir ( ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)

In a live interview broadcasted on Sudan TV on Saturday night, Nadir Ali Nafie said that the conspirators were aware that the "huge popularity" Bashir enjoys in the army and among the ordinary people would pose a difficulty.

As a result the plotters stressed in their communication with different parties that Bashir is "incapacitated" and "will no longer be able to carry out his duties" as president but that if the coup succeeded they will treat him with dignity and respect.

Nafie however did not address rumors about his boss’s health nor did not follow the official line of denying speculations about Bashir being terminally ill.

The 68-years old Sudanese leader underwent two surgeries in his throat since August in Qatar and Saudi Arabia respectively. Officials in the presidency confirmed the first surgery only two months later following growing talk that Bashir was ill.

Bashir’s brother Abdullahi was the first to disclose that the president had a tumor in his vocal cords but said it was benign. The revelation embarrassed other Sudanese officials who gave less serious accounts of Bashir’s ailment.

The Sudanese president has cut down his public appearances particularly in conferences but continues to hold bilateral meetings with members of his government and foreign dignitaries.

Last month he was reportedly more than an hour late to the opening ceremony Islamic Movement (IM) convention attended by Islamist figures from all over the world. He also cancelled his attendance at the last minute at the 12th conference of the Arab ministers of minerals that took place in Khartoum in late November.

In an separate interview with Cairo-based Al-Ahram al-Youm, Nafie said that ex-spy chief Salah Gosh who is held in connection with this coup attempt, has been planning it for a long time.

"The [coup] attempt wasn’t yesterday and Salah Gosh wasn’t planning it yesterday but was working on it for a while," Nafie said.

The presidential assistant confirmed media reports that other political parties were involved and appeared to confirm that former Prime Minister and leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadiq al-Mahdi was part of it.

He was commenting on remarks attributed to al-Mahdi in which he said that Gosh offered him to head a new government. The NUP later described the report as "misleading" and was said in a different context.

But Nafie said he was not convinced.

"Is it logical that al-Sadiq al-Mahdi disclose what went between him and Gosh in the past without meaning it?" he questioned.

The Sudanese government initially said that the coup, which is linked to disenfranchised Islamists within the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), was planned in participation with an opposition political party but it did not name any. It also said that two opposition members were arrested on charge of making contacts with the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Among those accused was Brigadier General Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Galil who is better known as ’Wad Ibrahim’. The latter is a veteran of a special force that fought southern rebels during the north-south civil war. He was also responsible for Bashir’s presidential security for several years.

The coup attempt was seen by observers as strong evidence of a growing split within the Islamist-backed regime. It is not clear whether the government however will move ahead with prosecuting the coup plotters amid reports of mediation efforts by some NCP members.


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  • 16 December 2012 08:10, by Jalaby

    The idea of the coup itself is a silly idea and the time for coup is over and the international community including AU won’t accept any regime that comes out to light through coup!
    This is a time for people revolutions such as Arab Spring and not for coup, the time for coup is over with no coming back!

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    • 16 December 2012 08:17, by Jalaby

      President Bashir days are numbered now and there is no way that he can go for another new presidential election after 2015, it’s time for Bashir and Ali Osman and all authorities in charge around them to leave and open the door widely for new blood to take responsibility!

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      • 16 December 2012 08:23, by Jalaby

        Bashir & Ali Osman did great mistakes and Nivasha agreement was the most big mistake they ever did, we never against separating the south itself because the rot part in our body that has no cure should be amputated long time ago no doubt but the way how they amputated that rot part was completely wrong, look now to what we got from Nivasha after all?!

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        • 16 December 2012 08:30, by Jalaby

          borders dispute as thieves are invading and claiming the ownership of our land, Abyei issue that was known to be a part of northern Sudan since 1905 and not even 1956, oil issue as we are not able to get back our investment losses, citizenship issue as jonobean don’t want to leave our land and want to have dual citizenship without our consent, Sudan debt as the debt should be

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          • 16 December 2012 08:38, by Jalaby

            put on the south because that war they started destroyed our economy and created many other problems to Sudan!
            The south still supports and offers safe haven to SPLA-N and refuses to retreat!
            Sudan still under US & western countries embargo!
            The conclusion: Bashir & Ali Osman separated the south for free!

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          • 16 December 2012 18:12, by mudfish

            You called Abyei your own land,so can tell me what does it meant ?

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          • 16 December 2012 20:37, by Nyakuzuny

            Jalaby brother now we are Powerfully here in South Sudan, don’t forgetting that we will detroying Khartoum just only one hour. believe me brother now; is not like during 1983 when we was in bush , SPLA Will not withdraw the troops in Dispute areas untill SAF withdraw from Panthou Oil Area.

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        • 16 December 2012 20:27, by Nyakuzuny

          haahaahaaaaaa Jalaby brother don’t craying because we are separate,we are already Independent in South Sudan, we will never Surrender agian , South Sudan is the one of the countries of the world today, and Secondly Bashir will Die brother , Bashir will follow Dr John Garang .South Sudan Oyeee! Splm Oyeee ! New Sudan Nation Oyeee!

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        • 16 December 2012 20:49, by Nyakuzuny

          why the two Dogs are craying for peace? you was believed that there will be No Independent in South Sudan, you Don’t using Navasha Peace Agreement, let you looking forward what will be happening,we will defeate you in Khartoum untill in Bhor-Sudan

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      • 16 December 2012 08:38, by Logic

        Jalaby, don’t waste energy crying over southern separation but rather on keeping the remaining part in tact. So stop being a racist, bigoted and brainwashed fool and perhaps you won’t be crying about Darfur, South Kordufan & Blue Nile in the near future.

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        • 16 December 2012 08:47, by Jalaby

          Mr. No Logic,
          What happened? u decided to come back to Sudan again?! I thought u will go and live in that jungle "south" since u started to critic them recently and I said we’ll remove u from S Kordofan list!
          Don’t worry about Darfour,S Kordofan & BN, Turabi and the south are both encouraging the gangsters there to terrorize people and abduct Chinese workers!

          repondre message

    • 16 December 2012 09:08, by Dinkawarrior

      "tumor in his vocal cords"
      Because of his singing and dancing against South Sudanese people at the time of Panthou(Higlig) War, that is why God Graspped his throat and made him sick. We thanks God for that and we will never stop cursing those who wish South Sudan a bad luck. We are waiting to hear and see his departure!!

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  • 16 December 2012 08:59, by panchol

    jalaby, not you but we are the one who pruned the rotten part of Sudan.Even though your until your tears come out in form of blood it’s already done. World gave you your right to stay in Northern part of Sudan which is not completely yours. what the real Sudanese know is that you are visitors in this land as you are from Middle East. The following are the owners of Sudan: 1. Darfur 2.Nuba 3. SBN

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    • 16 December 2012 17:07, by ANYANYA1

      Jalaby, crying is not going to helping you man. even thought you cry with blood, keep cry evil brother,Question How do feel by crying? listen to me evil bro you are wasting your time in crying, It’s better to find your way to Middle East before the sun sit, keep crying and don’t forget SPLA.North are on way coming get you. be ready with answer.they will ask you why are you crying? thank for cying

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  • 16 December 2012 09:22, by panchol

    Regime change in Sudan is the only way forward. hhohohohohohohohohohoho! hahahahahaha! If it happened to NCP the ruling part to follow CPA for people of Southern Blue Nile and South Kordufan, Sudan would have been there peacefully. But GoS went as far to ricked National Election Votes.
    very greedy Government.

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  • 16 December 2012 10:31, by Observer

    Does this governmene really think that we believe a word of this????
    Why don;t our leaders go out and talk to the non NCP blind followers- why don;t they go to the markets, the restaurants, the mosques and actually listen to what the public is saying.. and it is nothing like this.
    You can only be the boy who cried wolf so many times and those many times finished a long time ago

    repondre message

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