/ 22 November 2012

Sudan says it foiled a military coup attempt

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Thirteen Sudanese including military and state intelligence officers and the former intelligence chief have been arrested over a "plot" targeting national stability, Sudan's information minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said on Thursday.

"The most prominent is retired general Salah Gosh," longtime chief of the national intelligence service until 2009, said Osman.

Also held is General Adil Al-Tayeb, of the National Intelligence and Security Service, and Brigadier Mohammed Ibrahim of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Osman said.

Ibrahim was deputy commander of the military's operation earlier this year to retake the Heglig oil fields after a brief occupation by South Sudan.

Osman released no other names for those allegedly involved in the plot which "targeted the stability of the state and some leaders of the state".

He said those arrested are under investigation in connection with the plot which was initially planned for November 15 but was delayed until Thursday.

"The authorities decided to stop them before they implemented it," Osman said.

'Subversive plot'
The state-run Omdurman radio station says the "subversive plot" aimed to destabilise Sudan.

The station says it was uncovered and aborted early on Thursday.

There were no further details.

The term "subversive plot" is frequently used by Sudan to refer to a military coup.

Last summer, Sudan crushed pro-democracy protests inspired by Arab Spring uprisings. Hundreds of protesters were arrested and detained for demanding the ouster of the 23-year-old regime of President Omar al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

His government is rapidly losing popularity at home for imposing painful economic austerity measures. – Sapa/AP