Thursday, September 30, 2004

Coup Foiled in Sudan?

The BBC reports that the Sudanese government claims to have supressed a coup from a splinter Islamist group that helped put the current regime in power:

At least 28 people, mostly members of the security forces, have been charged with trying to overthrow Sudan's government in a coup.
State prosecutors accused them of declaring war on the state, planning to assassinate political leaders and cut communication links.
AFP news agency reports that they are members of the Islamist Popular National Congress of Hassan al-Turabi.


Mr Turabi who was jailed in March in connection with a previous alleged coup, denies any involvement with the coups, or links to the rebels.

However, he says he sympathises with some of their demands, such as decentralisation of power from the capital, Khartoum, to impoverished regions such as Darfur.

Mr Turabi was once a close ally of President Omar al-Bashir but he lost out in a power-struggle between the two in 1999.

On the one hand, I am glad to see the Islamists fighting among themselves. But it isn't clear that either faction should be governing Sudan. I have slightly better hopes for the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) which at least pays lip service to the idea of a democratic Sudan. Of course Chad doesn't like either group because they mess up the peace process. But I can't really cheer for a peace that doesn't include liberty and justice.

NOTE: Here is a link to another BBC story that outlines the different rebel groups.

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