Sudan prime minister ‘in good shape’ after surviving assassination attempt

Abdalla Hamdok, who heads a transitional government, unharmed in Khartoum blast

Sudan's prime minister survived an assassination attempt on Monday, when there was an explosion close to his convoy in capital city Khartoum. Afterwards, he told citizens he is "safe and in good shape".

"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 wrote on Twitter. "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."

Mr Hamdok, a former UN economist, has been prime minister since August. He heads a transitional government made up of a mix of civilians and military. While the military is vying for more control, many pro-democracy protesters want it gone completely, saying it is a continuation of the old regime.

al-Bashir regime

Sudan's former president and dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted last April. The 76-year-old ruled the North African country for 30 years, before previously unthinkable protests finally led to him being forced out of power. In December, Mr Bashir was sentenced to two years in detention for corruption charges. Sudan's government has since suggested that it may turn Mr Bashir over to the International Criminal Court to face charges for his alleged role in the Darfur genocide.


Falih Salih, Sudan’s information minister, told journalists there is currently an investigation into who may have ordered the assassination attempt. “Terrorist attempts and dismantling the old regime will be dealt with decisively,” Mr Salih said, as reported by Al Jazeera.

Photographs and videos posted online showed the scene of Monday’s attack, including several badly damaged cars and a crowd gathered around them.


The assassination attempt was condemned by the European Union and US embassies in Khartoum.

British ambassador to Khartoum Irfan Siddiq tweeted that what happened was deeply worrying. "[The] incident has reaffirmed the fragile nature of this transition and the vital role being played by the prime minister. [I] hope the country will unite behind the prime minister. [The] UK fully supports the civilian government and committed to continuing to provide whatever support we can to help it succeed," he said.

"[Hamdok] still has enemies who profited from the old ways," tweeted Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, who met Mr Hamdok last month in Khartoum.

Mr Roth said he was convinced the prime minister is genuinely committed to Sudan becoming a rights-respecting democracy, but will clearly face challenges. “There is clearly still enormous resistance in Sudan to the prospect of civilian rule.”

Sally Hayden

Sally Hayden

Sally Hayden, a contributor to The Irish Times, reports on Africa