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Interview with Sudan's PM Hamdok on international integration and peace

May 20 - 2021 PARIS
Sudan's PM Abdallah Hamdok and Radio Dabanga's Editor in Chief Kamal El Sadig at the Paris Conference this week (RD)
Sudan's PM Abdallah Hamdok and Radio Dabanga's Editor in Chief Kamal El Sadig at the Paris Conference this week (RD)

On the occasion of the Paris Conference that took place on Monday, Radio Dabanga interviewed Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok to talk about the conference and Sudan’s peace as "an ongoing process".

In the interview with Radio Dabanga during the conference, the prime minister said that the Paris Conference constituted a milestone in Sudan's relationship with the international community. He called it “the culmination of the work that the revolution government has been doing since its formation”.

PM Hamdok also said that the acceptance by the international community of Sudan's return after years of isolation and dictatorship “was linked to the decisions and policies that we made at home” and that these decisions were intended “to pave the way for the return to the international community in a way that expresses the spirit of the revolution”.

Hamdok explained that the Paris conference was based on two main pillars, namely to show that Sudan has established the policies and laws that qualify it to become the focus of international investments and to deal with the issue of Sudan’s debt relief as the country’s international debt is currently estimated at around US$80 billion prior to the conference.

The conference managed to secure international support for Sudan and the country has now cleared the arrears on its international debt, paving the way for the settlements of its bilateral debts.

The Eiffel Tower was lit in colours of the Sudanese flag
during the conference (social media)

 

Peace process

When asked about the slow implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, Hamdok told Radio Dabanga that "peace does not mean signing an agreement or forming a cabinet with certain ministers". Instead, "it is an ongoing process".  

"Peace does not mean signing an agreement or forming a cabinet with certain ministers, it is rather an ongoing process"

Hamdok further stressed the real implementation of peace must be reflected in the camps for the displaced. They need to feel that peace deals with their main issues. He also stressed that the government is serious about this.

This is not an issue that can be dealt with overnight, Hamdok explained, but rather needs the mobilisation of national and international resources to enable the implementation of the peace agreement on the ground. The prime minister explained that the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) provides help with this.

Hamdok further stressed the importance of the agreement with the peace parties to work towards a unified force and increase the joint force meant to protect civilians from 12,000 to 20,000 troops, with regular armed forces representing 12,000 soldiers and the rebel movements contributing 8,000 members.

"With our joint work we can build the Sudan that we dream of and we are proud of"

Hamdok explained that the first steps have been taken towards forming the joint forces and their unified command and said that forces will undergo a training period of 90 days but will be ready to intervene when necessary to protect civilians during that period.

The prime minister further explained to Radio Dabanga that the recent signing of the Declaration of Principles with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) was the result of continuous work based on the Addis Ababa Declaration and the Juba Declaration, which paved the way for reaching a peace agreement.

He indicated that his team remained in contact with the movement’s leadership and arrangements have been made to start negotiation sessions by the end of May.

Justice and legal reform

With regard to justice and legal reform, Hamdok described the progress that took place so far as “less than ambitious”. At the same time, he pointed to great changes in legislation, especially the public order and the criminal law, the ratification of a number of international conventions, and the commencement of trials for the “symbols of the defunct regime”.

Hamdok also pointed to the trials in the cases of the martyrs in El Obeid, Atbara, and elsewhere and said that he expected the investigation committee on the June 3 Massacre to release its report soon. He stressed that the committee headed by lawyer Nabil Adib is independent and the government does not want to interfere in a way that affects its independence.

Message to the displaced

The prime minister sent a special message through Radio Dabanga to the displaced and refugees in the camps in Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile state. In his message, he said: “You were an integral part of the revolution and it is your struggle that achieved this change. With our joint work, we can build the Sudan that we dream of and we are proud of, and this spirit must prevail among all.”


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