Protesters take to streets after Sudanese PM survives assassination attempt

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok survived an assassination attempt on Monday morning as he was on his way to his office in Khartoum.

The assassination attempt targeted Hamdok’s convoy on the northern entrance of Kober bridge. Eyewitnesses told Mada Masr they heard a loud blast and saw a group of masked men firing on the convoy as it passed, less than a kilometer from a prison where former President Omar al-Bashir had been detained since he was ousted last April. 

“We heard the blast and ran to the convoy to find out that a couple of cars were hit,” the first eyewitness said.

A second eyewitness told Mada Masr that the armed group appeared on the bridge of Kober in the Bahri area, from which they fired on the convoy and threw an explosive device.

The second eyewitness added that the attackers were wearing masks and used a motorbike to escape after the blast. 

Omar Abdel Majid Bashir, the official spokesperson for the Sudanese Police Force, announced that one officer was injured, but everyone else accompanying the prime minister was safe. He stated that all security forces are on high alert and are investigating the attack.

A little-known group that calls itself the Sudanese Islamic Youth Movement claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Hamdok a “US agent.” 

Hamdok tweeted shortly after the incident that he is safe and that the failed attempt would not halt Sudan’s political transition and that it would serve as an “additional push to the wheel of change in Sudan.”

The Sudanese Professionals Association, one of the leading bodies that called for strikes and protests during the uprising, released statements condemning the attack and blaming the attempt on “desperate enemies of the revolution” trying to settle political conflicts. 

“The fallen regime is the incubator of extremism and terrorism, and the reluctance to liquidate its positions and capabilities is what made such a crime possible,” the association stated, demanding an immediate investigation and asking for the maximum punishment for the parties responsible. 

In early February, several individuals were arrested in a targeted raid of what the Sudanese public prosecution called a terrorist cell. The Sudanese public prosecution stated that the primary suspect in the group was an Egyptian national who confessed to working with a cell affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, whose leadership is based in Turkey.

A source in the Sudanese government, who spoke to Mada Masr at the time on condition of anonymity, said that Islamist groups are seeking to exact revenge on Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, who curtailed the presence of many regional Islamist groups that previously found shelter and logistical support from the ousted government of Omar al-Bashir.”

A number of political parties and armed groups released statements on Monday condemning the incident, while the Coalition for Freedom and Change, a coalition of groups led by the professionals association that had pushed for Bashir’s ouster, called on people to go into the streets and show support for the PM and the goals of the revolution.

The transitional Sovereign Council appointed Hamdok as prime minister last August on the proposal of the Coalition for Freedom and Change as part of their agreement with the Transitional Military Council. The constitutional declaration forbids Hamdok and other senior transitional leaders from running in the scheduled 2022 general elections.

Transitional Sovereign Council member Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman announced that a meeting will be held by the Sudanese Security and Defense Council in the presidential palace to discuss the assassination attempt.

“We know that there are those who target the revolution of the Sudanese people, which was achieved with their struggles and the blood of its martyrs, but we confirm that the will of the revolution remains. The path is clear, and the revolution will never lose its compass,” the spokesperson for the Cabinet said.

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