Sudan – On Sunday, Sudan’s military reinstated PM Abdalla Hamdok and pledged to release all political detainees. The military’s statement comes weeks after deadly unrest triggered by their coup. Lately, large crowds have taken to the streets to reject any political settlement with the army.
Under an agreement inked with military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the PM will lead a government of technocrats for a transitional period. Hamdok was appointed after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in a 2019 uprising.
The deal, however, is set to face opposition from pro-democracy groups that have urged for a complete civilian rule since Bashir’s ouster. The groups have been agonized by the deaths of dozens of protesters after the Oct. 25 coup.
Hamdok, a hero for the protest movement, quickly became the villain for some.
Hamdok said he agreed to the deal so that he could prevent more casualties.
“Sudanese blood is precious. Let’s stop the bloodshed and direct our energies into building and development.”
“He (Hamdok) has sold the revolution,” said protesters after the deal was announced. The agreement was termed “treacherous” by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) – a leading protest group.
Thousands of people joined rallies in the capital, Khartoum, and Omdurman and Bahri.
Security forces resorted to firing bullets and tear gas to disperse the protestors, witnesses said. “Hamdok has disappointed us big time. Our only option is the street,” said the protesters in Khartoum.
Britain, Norway, the United States, the European Union, Switzerland, and Canada welcomed the reinstatement of the Prime Minister and urged the release of other political detainees in a joint statement. The United Nations also greeted Sunday’s deal.
It merits mentioning that Western powers had condemned last month’s takeover and had halted economic assistance to Sudan, which is on the road to recovering from a deep financial crisis.