Sudanese intelligence services said on Thursday they had foiled a "conspiracy" against the country's security and have arrested several people from "the army and civil society," without revealing their identity. "This conspiracy is led by leaders of the opposition parties, [...] which was intended to cause public disturbances," said the country's official media.
A witness said he saw tanks and armored vehicles carrying soldiers and equipment on Khatim Obeid Avenue, in the capital Khartoum. This is a major avenue linking military and civilian airports in Khartoum as well as government buildings in the city center.
The opposition to President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who heads Sudan since a coup d'état in 1989, called for more protests in the wake of an economic crisis which was worsened due to the independence of South Sudan in July 2011.
Sudan has lost much of its crude oil reserves following the secession of South Sudan, which was proclaimed after decades of conflict between the two political entities. South Sudan has inherited three-quarters of the oil resources.
Sudan and South Sudan have reached an agreement in late September on security along their common border, for a possible resumption of the flow of oil from Sudan to South Sudan, which owns the infrastructure for export.
The countries agreed on the creation of a demilitarized buffer zone of 10 km along the border to prevent any resumption of hostilities. Despite this agreement, other disputes remain, including the demarcation of the border between the two countries, which stretches over 1800 km. In addition, some oil-rich areas are still claimed by both parties, including Abyei.