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Sudanese PM vows to push for reforms minutes after surviving assassination in Khartoum

By Abuga Makori in Nairobi
Rescue teams and security forces next to damaged vehicles at the site of the assassination attempt [Ashraf Shazly/AFP]
The site of an assassination attempt against Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok [Ashraf Shazly/AFP]

KHARTOUM - The attempted assassination will not derail progressive radical changes in Sudan, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has said, moments after surviving an explosion.

At the streets of Khartoum on Monday, an explosive dismembered two vehicles in his convoy, although no group is yet to take responsibility for the attack, which has been labeled as "attempted assassination".

This is the second high profile attempt against a top leader since the ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir. In January, Sudanese military quelled a would-be coup waged by disgruntled intelligence officials, authorities said.

In a tweet on Monday, Mr. Hamdok, who is the highest-ranking civilian in the current transitional government, vowed to continue with his reform agenda, despite resistance from remnants of Bashir's regime.

"I would like to assure the people of Sudan that I am safe and in good shape," said the renowned economist. "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."

Mr. Bashir, who is facing terrorism and crimes against humanity charges, was ousted after several months of protests in 2019. Sudan has since agreed to have him extradited to The Hague in compliance with a warrant of arrest issued by ICC in 2010, state media said.

While he cannot be directly linked to unending squabbles due to frictions between civilians and the ruling military council, there has been disgruntlement from a section of his sympathizers.

But Mr. Abdalla, who was born in 1956, insisted that the revolution "cannot be betrayed" in a tweet on Monday, adding that Sudanese people will always pursue peace.

"We paid a hefty price for this revolution for a better tomorrow and for sustainable peace. Our revolution should always be guarded by its peacefulness," he noted.

Earlier, state media reported that the IED hit the convoy of the Prime Minister, but it did not hurt him. It wasn't immediately clear about the motive behind the scheme against the PM.

"An explosion hit as Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's car was driving by but thank God no one was hurt," Ali Bakhit, the prime minister's office director, said on Monday.

A prominent economist, Hamdok was appointed prime minister in August last year after pro-democracy protests forced the military to remove former ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Following 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-Jazeera reports.

The prime minister has pledged to work towards ending the country's economic crisis and establishing peace. Throughout his time in office, he has worked tirelessly to have Sudan expunged from the list of terrorists funding nations.

Last year, he visited the United States where he sought to have economic sanctions lifted against Khartoum. In exchange, he pledged full compensation for victims of twin Al-Qaida attacks in Nairobi and Dar es salaam of 1998.

Al-Bashir was indicted for crimes against humanity following the Darfur genocide. He has since been convicted of money laundering and fraud, and subsequently imprisoned by the transitional authority.


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