Sudan’s prime minister has survived an assassination attempt after an explosion went off near his convoy in the capital, Khartoum, state media reported.
Abdalla Hamdok’s family confirmed he was safe following the explosion. Sudanese state TV said Hamdok was heading to his office when the blast took place, and that he was taken to a safe place. No one immediately claimed responsibility.
Footage posted online showed two white, Japanese-made SUVs vehicles used by Sudan’s top officials parked on a street, its widows broken. Another vehicle was badly damaged in the blast.
Hamdok was appointed prime minister last August after pro-democracy protests forced the military to remove the autocratic president Omar al-Bashir in April and replace it with a civilian-led government.
After months of negotiations, the military and the pro-democracy movement reached a power-sharing deal in August. The deal established a joint military-civilian 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.
Bashir came to power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989 and imposed a strict interpretation of religion on its citizens, limiting personal freedoms. The country was an international pariah for its support of extreme Islamists.
Hamdok has said the government will cooperate with the international criminal court’s efforts to prosecute those wanted for war crimes and genocide in connection with the Darfur conflict in Sudan in the 2000s.
Transitional authorities suggested in February that they were prepared to hand over Bashir to the ICC along with other former officials wanted by the ICC.
Bashir is born to a rural family in the village of Hosh Bannaga, 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the capital Khartoum.
A soldier from a young age, he fought alongside the Egyptian army in the short 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
As brigade commander and with the backing of Islamists, he seizes power in a coup against the democratically elected Sudanese government.
He sends troops and militiamen to crush a rebellion in the western region of Darfur. The conflict claims more than 300,000 lives, according to the UN.
The International Criminal Court issues a warrant for Bashir’s arrest on war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. The following year it issues a warrant for genocide. He denies the charges.
After a referendum, South Sudan splits from Bashir’s Sudan and becomes an independent nation.
Demonstrations against his government erupt after a hike in petrol prices. Officials say dozens are killed in related violence.
Protests begin in several towns after bread prices triple, snowballing into rolling nationwide rallies demanding he step down.
Bashir is removed from office by the military and detained.
Sudan’s transitional government is under pressure to end wars with rebel groups as it seeks to rehabilitate the country’ battered economy, attract much-needed foreign aid and deliver the democracy it promises.
Nearly a year after Bashir was ousted, the country faces a dire economic crisis. Inflation stands at 60% and the unemployment rate in 2019 was 22.1%, according to the International Monetary Fund. The government has said 30% of Sudan’s young people, who make up more than half of the over 42 million population, are without jobs.