Sudanese PM in war of words with ruling general after coup attempt
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok has responded to comments from the head of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, General Abdul Fattah Burhan, blaming politicians for the failed coup attempt that took place earlier this week.
Speaking on Wednesday, Hamdok said, “A coup or any attempt to undermine the transition has no motive except seizure of power and any claim to the contrary is false.”
Earlier Burhan said that Sudanese politicians were out of touch with the Sudanese people’s economic needs and were more interested in power than in the slogans of freedom and justice raised by the protesters who deposed longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
Burhan said that this had been the cause of the coup, while his powerful deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (also known as Hemedti) said that politicians had caused the coup by “neglecting the needs of citizens”.
However, Hamdok said that the coup had nothing to do with popular discontent, instead saying that remnants of former President Omar al-Bashir’s regime were behind it.
Alarm bells are ringing in #Sudan: this confrontation between military & civilian authority is extremely dangerous & may serve as pretext for al-#Burhan, #Hemeti, & the Sovereign Council to depose PM #Hamdok in a coup of their own—or curtail civilian governance in crippling ways. pic.twitter.com/VUDDqBsSP8— Eric Reeves (@sudanreeves) September 23, 2021
“We know that there is suffering and hardship and we see it everywhere around us. We have enough information about it and the government hasn’t abandoned its responsibilities regarding the situation,” he said.
“We have succeeded regarding some issues and fallen short in others,” the prime minister added.
Hamdok said that the Sudanese army did not bear responsibility for the coup.
“The Sudanese army which protected the revolutionaries… does not carry out coups. Those who carried out the coup are against civil transition and therefore must be remnants [of the previous regime],” he said.
On Tuesday, the Sudanese army announced that it had stopped a coup attempt led by General Abdel Baqi Hassan and involving 22 other officers.
Sudan has been ruled by a Transitional Sovereignty Council made up of military officers as well as civilian representatives from the Forces of Freedom and Change coalition since August 2019. The council is headed by General Burhan.
Hamdok’s government is in power on a provisional basis and elections are due to be held in 2024.
On Thursday, the Forces of Freedom Change coalition, which is made up of civil society groups which participated in the anti-Bashir protests condemned Burhan and Dagalo’s comments blaming “politicians” for the coup, saying that the two military leaders had made “accusations with no basis” which were a “direct threat to democratic transition” in Sudan.