Army officers pardoned by Sudanese president

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Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir has pardoned nine army officers, days after they were jailed for their role in an alleged coup attempt, state news agency SUNA reported.

The brief report did not say why Mr Bashir had ordered their release. The pardon did not include other senior officials the government said were caught up in the plot, including the country’s former head of intelligence.

Hundreds of supporters of one of the released men – Wad Ibrahim, a senior army officer and prominent Islamist – gathered outside his Khartoum home yesterday to celebrate.

Mr Ibrahim said he had only been interested in pushing for reform. He said: “We thank the Sudanese people and the armed forces … [I hope] the country will reform and people will unite.”

The alleged coup attempt amplified a debate about who might one day replace Mr Bashir, who has ruled for 23 years.

Sudanese authorities arrested senior military and security officials in November after foiling what the government said was a coup plot.