Sudan: Picking up the pieces from a failed assassination bid

APA-Khartoum (Sudan)

The Sudanese government has been picking up the pieces from Monday's failed assassination bid on Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdook who survived a bomb blast by the skin of his teeth.

Since then, the government has been trying to decipher why Hamdook, a 56-year old trained economist was targeted for assassination and by whom.

It has since announced a raft of stringent security measures including border controls for movements into the country.

It's intelligence community has gone into overdrive, closely monitoring individuals and groups suspected of possible links to terrorist organisations which may have had an interest in eliminating Hamdook.

Government spokesman Faisal Mohamed Salih said an unspecified number of suspects have been arrested and detained including foreign nationals apparently incriminated in the assassination plot.

Since his appointment last year, the Prime Minister has attracted both praise and condemnation for a raft of reforms his government has undertaken.

Meanwhile, in their bid to get to the bottom of the incident, Khartoum is poised to benefit from help emanating from an unlikely source.

A recent thaw in ties with the United States after years of poor relations characterized by crippling sanctions on Khartoum signifies renewed interest from Washington.  

The rapidity with which relations are improving can be gleaned from the fact that days after Hamdook survived the blast on his motorcade as he sped to work on Monday, American experts were already poised to travel to Khartoum to help investigate the failed bid on his life. 

After Sudan's ministers on Wednesday evening held a meeting over a security report from Interior minister, Gen. al-Traify Adriss and General Intelligence Director, Gen. Jamal Abdu- Almageed, the stage was set for the US operatives to join the investigations.

Spokesman Salih, said the American crime experts will play a leading role in the investigations which have so far not revealed those behind the attack. 

"We needed them because they have better experience and advanced equipment than we have. Sudan have not experienced such an act before", said Salih.

This followed a turbulent year of demonstrations and violence in the aftermath of the overthrow of long term ruler Omar al-Bashir last April.

In August, Hamdook was appointed PM after a power-sharing deal between the Sudanese army and a coalition of civil society movements which organized widespread street protests.

Since he took office, he has been credited with appointing more women in government than at any given time and repealed laws restricting women's rights in addition to purging the civil service and other state apparatuses of Bashir allies who were still prevalent months after his ouster.

Hamdook's allies in the current government say under condition of anonymity that he had perhaps unintentionally ruffled feathers, leaving some people deeply resenting some of his bold initiatives in his bid to sanitise the system.

By their reckoning it would make perfect sense to those who still yearn for the past for his convoy to be hit by machine gunfire and a bomb planted in the Cober neighbourhood of the Sudanese capital while he was on his way to work. 

His office had described the incident as a terrorist attack, which left one of his bodyguards wounded.

Hamdook had tweeted later that he was safe and in good shape but how long would it take before his detractors strike again?




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