Sudan’s PM Survives Assassination Attempt in Capital

CAIRO (AP) -
Security personnel stand near a car damaged after an explosion targeting the motorcade of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, near the Kober Bridge in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Sudan’s prime minister survived an assassination attempt Monday after an explosion went off near his convoy in the capital of Khartoum, Sudan’s state media said.

Abdalla Hamdok’s family confirmed he was safe following the explosion. Sudanese state media said Hamdok was heading to his office when the blast took place, and that he was taken to a “safe place.”

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Footage posted online showed two white, Japanese-made SUVs vehicles used by Sudan’s top officials parked on a street, damaged with windows broken. Another vehicle was badly damaged in the blast.

Hamdok was appointed prime minister last August, after pro-democracy protests forced the military to remove autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April and replace it with a civilian-led government.

After months of negotiations, the military and the pro-democracy movement reached a power-sharing deal in August. The deal established a joint military-civilian, 11-member sovereign council that will govern Sudan for the next three years.

Military generals remain the de facto rulers of the country and have shown little willingness to hand over power to the civilian-led administration.

Al-Bashir came to power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989. The country was an international pariah for its support of extreme Islamists.

Hamdok has also confirmed the government will cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s efforts to prosecute those wanted for war crimes and genocide in connection with the Darfur conflict in Sudan in the 2000s.

Transitional authorities announced in February that they agreed to hand over al-Bashir to the ICC along with other former officials wanted by the ICC.

Sudan’s transitional government is under 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 promises.

Nearly a year after al-Bashir’s ouster, the country faces a dire economic crisis. Inflation stands at a staggering 60% and the unemployment rate was 22.1% in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund. The government has said that 30% of Sudan’s young people, who make up more than half of the over 42 million population, are without jobs.