Sudan TV’s alternate broadcast technician, Ali Omar “Hajo”, stated that he’d rather “take a bullet to the head” than adhere to the request of the commander of the group that broke into the national television headquarters, which set off Tuesday’s failed coup.
AlTaghyeer: Amal Muhammad Al-Hassan
The alternate broadcast technician at Sudan’s national television, Ali Omar “Hajo”, revealed his refusal to interrupt regular programming for the perpetrators of Tuesday’s failed coup attempt this morning.
Hajo told AlTagheer that he was surprised this morning by the arrival of 4 individuals, 2 of whom were wearing military uniforms, to the national television station’s broadcasting room at 6:30 am, and demanded programming be interrupted to broadcast military exercises, in preparation for declaring their government takeover.
“The officer with the rank of colonel began talking to me about the situation in the country and the security breaches, before telling me that they had staged a military coup by saying that hey now control the country,” Hajo said.
“Then he asked me to interrupt the broadcast program Noor ala Noor and broadcast military marches instead,” he continued.
Referring to his categorical rejection of the order, Hajo explained telling the force that “any modification to programming must be made through the Director General.”
“Not even if you shoot me in the head will I interrupt the regular programming,” the technician said, and advised the colonel to look for someone else.
“At that time, one of the civilians intervened and signaled to the officers to get out, and they all left the broadcast room.”
The technician confirmed that he was not subjected to any violence or threats, and neither the colonel nor his escorts drew their weapons at him, stressing that the entire scenario did last more than ten minutes.
Hajo believes that that this small group entered the television through the military intelligence portal.
He testified before some state officials and is expected to be interrogated by military intelligence to help identify and arrest the people affiliated with the coup attempt, especially since he noted seeing one of the civilians accompanying the group inside the television courtyard an hour after the incident.
It is worth noting that Hajo has been exposed to these situations more than once.
He was present in the broadcasting room during the fall of al-Bashir, where he broadcast the then newly-formed Military Council’s statement.
Hajo had a well-publicized incident on national television related to the “Dark Bats” program – an infamous program that aired after the General Command sit-in massacre – which he had broadcast without being aware of its content.
After learning about it, he refused to re-run the program, which led to his dismissal.