ADDIS ABABA – Sudan’s prime minister has survived an assassination attempt after his convoy was attacked in the capital, Khartoum.
“I would like to assure the people of Sudan that I am safe and in good shape,” Abdalla Hamdok has tweeted.
Hamdok was appointed to head Sudan’s transitional government last August, a few months after the overthrow of longtime President Omar al-Bashir.
He said the attack only served as “an additional push to the wheel of change in Sudan”.
It is not yet clear who carried out the attack, but the political situation in Sudan remains precarious after last year’s political transition led to many once-powerful individuals, especially in the military, being sidelined.
Images broadcast on regional TV channels and social media showed a convoy including several damaged white SUVs and a badly damaged car.
Three witnesses told Reuters the attack happened near the northern entrance to Kober bridge, which connects Khartoum North with the city center, where Hamdok’s office is.
The convoy appeared to have been targeted from above, they said.
Hamdok is an economist and former senior United Nations official who is well connected with the international community.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has condemned the assassination attempt made on Hamdok. He said: “such incidents need not derail the process and path begun in ensuring the stability of Sudan.”
“The people of Sudan have paid a great price and taken admirable steps towards maintaining peace,” he added.
The United States Department of state condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms” and said it “strongly supports Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government”.
Thousands of anti-military protesters have held demonstrations in recent weeks to support Hamdok and his government.
After Monday’s attack the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded the anti-Bashir movement, called for further rallies to display unity and support for civilian rule, and witnesses said crowds had begun to gather around midday.
Image: Abdalla Hamdok became prime minister in August last year [Photo EPA]