News ID: 266666
Published: 0250 GMT March 09, 2020

Sudan’s PM escapes assassination attempt in capital

Sudan’s PM escapes assassination attempt in capital
ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP

Sudanese rescue teams and security forces gather next to a damaged vehicle at the site of an assassination attempt against Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Khartoum on March 9, 2020.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he was “in good shape” after a failed assassination attempt his government branded an attack on the revolution that ousted the North African nation’s longtime dictator last year.

Hamdok and his entourage were traveling to work in the capital, Khartoum, when they were targeted in a “terrorist bombing and shooting,” Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Salih said Monday in a televised address, Bloomberg reported.

No one was seriously injured and investigations are underway into the incident, according to Salih. “The people are capable of defending the fruits of the revolution,” he said, vowing that “all terrorist and sabotage attempts will be dealt with decisively.”

Hamdok took to Twitter afterward to confirm he was safe. “Rest assured that what happened today will not stand in the way of our transition, instead it is an additional push to the wheel of change in Sudan,” he said.

At the scene of the attack in the city’s Bahri district, police guarded four passenger cars, only one of which showed significant damage. It wasn’t clear what had been the source of the blast. Footage later aired on Arab TV channels showed Hamdok being warmly greeted by colleagues at government premises.

The events underlined the dangers Sudan still faces as it attempts a shift to democracy following Omar al-Bashir’s downfall last April after months of protests. Questions remain over the army’s commitment to surrendering power as well as the threat posed by disgruntled remnants of Bashir’s three-decade rule.

The Forces for Freedom and Change, a coalition of protesters and rebels that helped drive the 2019 demonstrations, condemned what it called a “terror attack” by unidentified perpetrators that sought “to abort our revolution.” It urged people to take to the streets.

Hamdok, a former United Nations economist in his early 60s, was appointed premier in August after intense negotiations between the protest movement’s leaders and the army. The transitional administration, made up of civilian and military officials, is supposed to lead Africa’s third-largest country into democratic elections in 2022.

Bashir and his now-dissolved National Congress Party espoused a firebrand form of governance after taking power in a 1989 military coup, making alliances with Washington’s enemies that saw Sudan listed by the US as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993. The US later imposed sanctions that lasted until 2017.

In recent weeks, the new government has made a series of proposals – including putting Bashir in front of the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and establishing Sudan’s first-ever official ties with Israel – in a bid to restore its global standing. Authorities say the removal of Sudan’s terrorism designation is key to rebuilding the economy, shattered by decades of mismanagement.

The US Embassy in Khartoum said it was “shocked and saddened” by the attack on Hamdok’s convoy.

 

 

 

 

   
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