Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok released, reinstated to lead civilian government supervised by military

Hamdok had been under house arrest since October 25 when he was ousted by soldiers under the control of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was released from detention on Sunday following a deal that reinstated him to lead a civilian government supervised by the military.

Hamdok had been under house arrest since October 25 when he was ousted by soldiers under the control of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (R) attends the opening session of the "Friends of Sudan" conference in the capital Khartoum on December 11 
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (R) attends the opening session of the “Friends of Sudan” conference in the capital Khartoum on December 11

The coup reignited mass protests in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and raised political uncertainty in the country, two years after a popular uprising sacked longtime autocrat Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Under the deal, political prisoners who were detained during and following the coup would be released and the military would no longer be in charge of running the country as General Burhan has done in the past four weeks using emergency powers.

The African Union praised the new agreement, writing in a statement that the commission’s chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat was satisfied.

General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on February 6, 2020 [Twitter] 
General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on February 6, 2020 [Twitter]

“The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has learned with satisfaction of the signing of the agreement reached between the President of the Sudanese Supreme Council, Abdel Fatah Al Burhan, and Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdock, today, 21 November 2021,” AUC said in a statement.

It added, “The Chairperson commends this important step towards the return to constitutional order as enshrined in the Khartoum agreements of August 19, 2019, which frame the consensual and democratic transition in Sudan.

“He encourages all political and social, civil and military actors to deepen this orientation and to implement it inclusively and effectively, in a climate of peace and national reconciliation.

“The Chairperson of the Commission calls on the international community to renew its commitment in solidarity with Sudan so that it regains peace and prepares, in a democratic consensus, for regular and free elections, which are the only path to put a definitive end to the institutional turmoil in the country and ensure its sustainable development.”

African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat 
African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat

The Sudanese Professionals Association, however, said that the new deal fell “far from the aspirations of our people and that it was “nothing more than ink on paper.”

Reuters quoted Hamdok as calling for calm on Sunday even as many youths continued to demand a full transfer of power to a civilian government.

“I know our youth have the capacity for sacrifice, determination, and giving up all that is precious,” Hamdok said Sunday, according to Reuters. “But Sudanese blood is precious. Let us stop the bloodshed and direct the youths’ energy into building and development.”

The Washington Post noted that “protesters were out in the thousands on Sunday, many openly denouncing Hamdok, who until now had been seen as a kind of hero, enduring house arrest while pushing for a civilian government.”

Sudanese protesters wave national flags as they rally on 60th Street in the capital, Khartoum, to denounce the detention of civilian government members overnight. [AFP] 
Sudanese protesters wave national flags as they rally on 60th Street in the capital, Khartoum, to denounce the detention of civilian government members overnight. [AFP]

“The streets have already vowed to keep resisting, so it’s likely that we’ll see more, not fewer, protests,” said Kholood Khair, managing partner at Insight Strategy Partners, a policy research think tank in Khartoum, according to The Post. “They feel that they have been betrayed multiple times already and that now Hamdok is the latest.”

The resistance by the youths may signal that the deal may further plunge Sudan into political uncertainty.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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