Sudan coup attempts thwarted – claim


Sudan’s military rulers said they thwarted several coup attempts and some officers were arrested over the deadly dispersal of protesters at a sit-in in Khartoum earlier this month.

Two groups suspected of involvement in attempted coups were arrested, the Transitional Military Council spokesman said. One group consisted of five individuals while the other had more than 12 members.

The council took power in a coup on April 11 when military officials ousted and detained former President Omar al-Bashir after months of protests against his 30-year autocratic rule.

An area outside the defence ministry in Khartoum became the focal point of fresh protests as demonstrators demanded the military hand power to civilians. Stalled talks between the council and an alliance of opposition groups over who should control a transition towards elections then collapsed after security forces crushed the protest sit-in on June 3.

Opposition-linked medics said 118 people were killed in the crackdown while the military council put the toll at 61.

The council said some officers were arrested in connection with the crackdown. It did not elaborate, but results of an investigation into the matter would be announced on Saturday, said Shams El Din Kabbashi, council spokesman.

Earlier Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary of state for Africa, met with the head of the council, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in Khartoum. Veteran diplomat Donald Booth, appointed U.S. envoy to Sudan on Wednesday, was also present.

“Amb Booth and I pressed TMC Chairman Gen Burhan to take steps to allow successful talks to resume: Stop attacks on civilians; Withdraw military from Khartoum; Allow for an independent investigation of the June 3 attack on the peaceful sit-in and other recent violence; And stop repression of free speech and the internet,” Nagy said on Twitter.

Speaking at a press conference, council spokesman Kabbashi said the United States gave it advice.

“They are not orders,” he said, rejecting an international investigation.

“We do not accept it because we are a sovereign state and have our judicial apparatus.”

Human rights groups criticise an ongoing internet shutdown in Sudan. In an apparent response to the criticism, Kabbashi said social media posed a threat to the country.

“We do not allow that at the moment,” he said.

After meeting Nagy, the main opposition alliance said it would only participate in indirect talks and it would impose other conditions