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Turabi’s party releases documents alleged to contain coup plan in Sudan

January 8, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Islamist figure Hassan al-Turabi has released the documents which the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) alleged to contain plans for a coup against the Sudanese government.

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Islamic opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi of the Popular Congress Party speaks during a news conference at the party headquarters in Khartoum January 5, 2011 (Reuters)

The documents seen by Sudan Tribune spoke of the possible scenarios that the country could witness which included an army coup as a possibility.

But the PCP says in its analysis that this is “somewhat unlikely” due to precedents in the history of Sudan and military movements in other parts of the Arab world that were driven by political parties albeit behind the scenes.

The party says that all Sudanese political parties were negatively impacted by the military coups that took place in the past even if they have initially supported it. Therefore, the document points out that they would be reluctant to favor a new one.

Furthermore, the Sudanese army’s lack of discipline and the spread of corruption and partisanship within its ranks make political parties suspicious of any role the military would play in an upcoming change.

Should the army take over in a coup it might feel tempted to continue ruling without handing over the power to a civilian administration through democratic elections. This would be compounded by the mistrust felt by military leaders towards the traditional political figures.

To prevent such a scenario the regime will seek to pacify the political and military opposition along with temporary fixes. On top of that it may undertake security and propaganda measures to slow down change.

The PCP downplayed the possibility of reconciliation between the government and opposition due to “the impotence of the regime and low value of partial solutions”.

“But if, God forbids, this regime stays in place for the next year through any method of clinging to power then we have no option but to make the necessary arrangements to confront it and mobilize the active opposition,” says the PCP document.

Turabi’s party went on to speak of the third scenario which is a popular uprising driven mainly by deteriorating economic and political situation coupled by the weakness of the regime. It predicted that this would not be limited to the capital as was the case in past revolutions but will sweep the entire the country.

It warned that this might encourage the formation of militias in response to the presence of armed rebel groups. This could open the door for an “angry and hungry mob” to go on a rampage that could throw the entire country into turmoil. International powers might also find it as an opportunity to intervene to execute its own agendas.

The eighty year-old opposition figure has been in and out of jail since he was ousted from power in 1999 after a bitter power struggle with president Al-Bashir, who Al-Turabi had helped bring to power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989.

(ST)