Sudanese Prime Minister Survives Assassination Attempt

On Monday, March 9, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok survived an assassination attempt in the country’s capital of Khartoum after an explosion and gunfire hit his motorcade en route to his office. The Prime Minister was unharmed, and one security officer was “lightly wounded,” according to an official statement from the prime minister’s office.

3 witnesses told Reuters that the attack took place on the Kober Bridge as the convoy crossed the Blue Nile into the center of the city, where Hamdok’s office is located. The gunfire allegedly originated from a tall, nearby building, and the blast originated from a car bomb, according to state television.

Shortly afterwards, Hamdok posted a picture of himself smiling at his desk on social media, claiming that he was “safe and in good shape.”

Prime Minister Hamdok at a press conference in August, 2019 (via AP)

Sudan is currently in the midst of a transition from military to civilian rule, and is currently under a system of joint military-civilian governance at which Prime Minister Hamdok is at the helm. Last year, widespread protests were met with a violent response from the military government, eventually culminating in the removal of President Omar al-Bashir from power in April, 2019. The group that spearheaded the deposition of al-Bashir, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, condemned the event as “a terrorist attack.” Hamdok now presides over an impoverished state wrestling with multiple rebel groups while trying to mend a tattered economy, damaged by years of political turmoil. Authorities claim that several coup attempts by military officers have been put down since al-Bashir’s ousting.

Hamdok’s government has since agreed to cooperate with the International Criminal Court to hand over al-Bashir and other wanted officials on charges of war crimes and genocide.

A damaged SUV at the site of the attack; the same kind Sudanese government officials use. (via AFP)

Hamdok is a well-respected former UN economist, elected last August by Sudan’s Sovereign Council, comprised of 5 military and 6 civilian electors. Many maintain that the military still holds all the real power under the current government, however.

Hamdok said in a short Twitter statement:

Rest assured that what happened today will not stand in the way of our transition, instead it is an additional push to the wheel of change in Sudan.”

— Abdalla Hamdok

As of now, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. Both the American and British Embassies to Sudan have reiterated their support for the transitional government.