Sudanese authorities reported a coup attempt on Tuesday by a group of soldiers but said the attempt failed and that the country’s ruling council and military remain in control.
The development underscored the fragility of Sudan’s path to democracy, more than two years after the military’s overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir amid a public uprising against his three-decade rule.
Sudan’s state-run television called on the public “to counter” the coup attempt but did not provide further details.
A military official said an unspecified number of troops from the armoured corps were behind the attempt and that they tried to take over several government institutions but were stopped in their tracks.
He said they had aimed to seize the military headquarters and the state television.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said over three dozen troops, including high-ranking officers, have been arrested.
The state-run SUNA news agency quoted Brig. Al-Tahir Abu Haja, a media consultant for the military’s chief, as saying that the armed forces “thwarted the attempted coup and that all is completely under control.”
The agency said all troops taking part in the attempt were detained and that investigations have started.
Political analyst Amin Ismail said that he thought the attempt was as a “result of the deterioration occurring in Sudan in terms of political and military differences.”
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok blamed remnants of al-Bashir’s government for the coup attempt, describing it as an effort to undermine Sudan’s democratic transition.
Ismail agreed with those comments and said that the coup attempt had the aim to “obstruct the democratic transition and obstructing the transitional period” in the country.
Sudan has been on a fragile path to democratic rule since the military’s ouster of al-Bashir in April 2019, following four months of mass protests.
The country is now ruled by a joint civilian and military government.
The transitional government has been under increasing pressure to end wars with rebel groups as it seeks to rehabilitate the country’s battered economy, attract much-needed foreign aid and deliver the democracy it promised.