Sudanese army reinstates Prime Minister Hamdok after deal

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  • Hamdok reinstatement agreement agreed
  • Civilian FCC coalition calls for protests to continue
  • Army overthrew Hamdok in October 25 coup

KHARTOUM, November 21 (Reuters) – The Sudanese army reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday and announced the release of all political detainees after weeks of deadly unrest sparked by a coup.

Under an agreement signed with the military leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Hamdok will lead a civilian government of technocrats during a period of transition.

Hamdok said he accepted the deal to stop the bloodshed.

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“Sudanese blood is precious, let’s stop the bloodshed and direct the energy of young people to construction and development,” he said.

But the civil coalition that shared power with the military had previously said it opposed any discussion with the “coup plotters” and called for the protests to continue on Sunday.

Even as word of the deal spread, thousands of protesters marched to the presidential palace in Khartoum in the early afternoon and called for Burhan’s downfall.

Hamdok was placed under house arrest when the military took power on October 25, derailing a transition to democracy agreed to after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019 that ended his three decades of autocratic rule.

The military dissolved Hamdok’s cabinet and detained a number of civilians who held senior positions under the power-sharing deal reached with the military after Bashir’s ouster.

The coup sparked mass protests against the military, and protest-aligned medics say security forces killed 40 civilians in increasingly violent crackdowns.

The constitutional declaration reached between the military and civilians in 2019 after Bashir’s ouster will remain the basis for continuing the talks, the source close to Hamdok said.

However, the activist groups leading the protests since the coup have demanded that the military withdraw from politics altogether.

The civil coalition of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), which shared power with the military, said it did not recognize any deal with the armed forces.

“We affirm our clear and previously announced position: no negotiation and no partnership and no legitimacy for the coup plotters,” the FFC said in a statement.

Those who led and supported the coup should be brought to justice, he said, calling on the population to show up for the latest round of anti-military protests on Sunday.

After the coup, Hamdok demanded the release of all political detainees and a return to power sharing as a precondition for negotiations, according to sources close to him.

Western powers that had supported Sudan’s political transition condemned the takeover and suspended some economic aid to Sudan.

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Report by Khalid Abdelaziz; Written by Nadine Awadalla and Michael Georgy; Editing by Aidan Lewis, Christopher Cushing, William Mallard, David Clarke and Andrew Heavens

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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