KHARTOUM - Sudanese authorities said they had foiled an attempted coup on Tuesday, accusing loyalists of ousted president Omar al-Bashir of trying but failing to undermine the revolution that removed him from power in 2019 and ushered in a transition to democracy.
The attempted coup was planned by people inside and outside the military establishment, leading to the first arrests of those in the midst of such a plot, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said in a televised statement.
It had been preceded by attempts to sow insecurity, especially in the east of Sudan, he said.
"What happened is an orchestrated coup by factions inside and outside the armed forces and this is an extension of the attempts by remnants since the fall of the former regime to abort the civilian democratic transition," Hamdok said.
"This attempt was preceded by extensive preparations represented by lawless in the cities and the exploitation of the situation in the east of the country, close national roads and ports and block oil production."
The coup attempt points to the difficult path facing a government that has reoriented Sudan since 2019, winning Western debt relief and taking steps to normalise ties with Israel, while battling a severe economic crisis and facing down challenges from those still loyal to Bashir.
A ruling body known as the Sovereign Council has run Sudan under a fragile power-sharing deal between the military and civilians since the overthrow of Bashir, an Islamist shunned by the West who presided over Sudan for nearly three decades.
Elections are expected in 2024.
It was not the first challenge to the transitional authorities. They say they have foiled or detected previous coup attempts linked to factions loyal to Bashir, who was deposed by the army after months of protests against his rule.
Those involved in the latest effort would be held to account, Hamdok said on Tuesday.
"For the first time, there are people who were arrested during their implementation of the coup," he said.
(Reporting by Ali Mirghani, Khalid Abdelaziz, Nafisa Eltahir and Nadine Awadalla Writing by Aidan Lewis and Tom Perry; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Giles Elgood and Angus MacSwan) ((Aidan.Lewis@tr.com; +20-1001174410;))