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Sudanese army thwarts coup attempt, arrests its chief of staff

Lt Gen Hashim Abdel Muttalab Ahmed, SAF Joint Chiefs of Staff
July 24, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) foiled a new coup attempt led by the Chief of Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the participation of some leaders of the ousted regime and the Islamist movement, said a military statement issued on Wednesday.

The head of the security committee in the military council, Gamal Omer announced on July 11, that the security services foiled a coup attempt and that some military personnel were arrested while the coup mastermind was still free.

On that day, a statement said that 12 officers had been arrested, including seven in service, five retreated, and four non-commissioned officers.

A military statement said that the investigations revealed the plot and those behind it adding that it was headed by "Lt General, Hashim Abdel Muttalab Ahmed, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a number of high-ranking officers of the armed forces and the National Security and Intelligence Services, alongside leaders of the Islamic Movement and the banned National Congress Party".

Following the announcement of the aborted coup, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) arrested a number of military personnel and political leaders of the banned National Congress Party of the deposed president Omer al-Bashir.

The list of the arrested military officers includes the Chief of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General Hashim Abdel Muttaab, the Commander of the Armoured Corps, Major General Nasr al-Din Abdel Fattah, his deputy, the commander of the Region of Khartoum, and the Commander of the Popular Defence Forces.

Among the arrested politicians, Ali Karti, former Foreign Minister, Kamal Abdel Latif former Minister of Minerals, and Zubair Ahmed al-Hassan the Secretary-General of the Islamic Movement.

Karti is described as one of the hawks of the Islamic Movement and was the former head of the Popular Defense Forces, the armed group that fought the war against the rebels of South Sudan under the banner of "jihad."

While Kamal Abdel Latif is one of the most prominent elements of what is known as Popular Security which is a militia established to defend the former regime of the National Congress Party and the Islamic Movement.

This is the fifth attempt since the transitional military junta took over power on April 11 after the al-Bashir’s ouster. But it is the first time that the authorities give the names of those involved in the coup.

This failed coup is seen as a translation of the tension that characterized the strained relationship between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the army leadership.

The Armoured Corps was the most critical of the Rapid Support Forces. Recently, there have been reports in Khartoum about a sharp verbal exchange between Nasr al-Din and Hemmeti during a briefing of army officers. The army general strongly refuted statements of the RSF leader who sought to play down the role played by the armed forces.

Also, the Armoured Corps refused to have the RSF forces posted in front of its headquarters and considered that as a direct provocation to the army, following what Hemetti was forced to withdraw his troops.

Sources that preferred not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue told Sudan Tribune that Hemetti following the incident asked the army chief of staff to dismiss the commanders of the armoured corps, but his request was not answered.

"It seems that they are all accused of attempting to overthrow the regime," said the source who expressed doubts about the accuracy of the accusations directed against them.

However, the military council broadcast a recorded video statement read by Lt-Gen Hashim Abdel Muttalab Ahmed, the putschists planned to air after the coup.

The military statement said that the failed coup attempt aimed at aborting "the glorious popular revolution" and the reestablish the former regime.

(ST)