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Sudan PM prioritises peace in Independence Day speech

January 2 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Sudan's flag is raised at the independence ceremony by  Prime Minister Ismail El Azhari and opposition leader Mohamed Ahmed El Mahjoub on January 1, 1956 (Social media)
Sudan's flag is raised at the independence ceremony by Prime Minister Ismail El Azhari and opposition leader Mohamed Ahmed El Mahjoub on January 1, 1956 (Social media)

In his address yesterday evening to the Sudanese people on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the country’s independence, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok confirmed that peace remains the priority of the transitional period.

He said that without peace there will be no free, fair, and comprehensive elections or any agreement on a permanent constitution in Sudan.

Hamdok announced the formation of a national mechanism for the protection of civilians, which will be a joint force made up of various regular forces and parties.

He explained that through the establishment of the national mechanism for the protection of civilians, “we aspire to establish security in all parts of the country, stop extrajudicial killing, and prevent the loss of blood and impunity”.

According to Hamdok, the armed forces and other regular forces are more prepared today to protect citizens, stating it is “the sacred duty of the armed forces and other regular forces to protect the constitution, democracy, and preserve the country's borders.”

Legislative council

The next few days will see the formation of the Council of Ministers and new announcements from the commissions, the Sovereign Council, and the Legislative Council, announced Hamdok. Formation of the Legislative Council was due to take place on December 31 following significant delays.

He said that consultations with various groups regarding the establishment of governance structures will continue, pledging to ensure that governmental strcutures achieve sustainable democracy and fulfil the slogans of the glorious December Revolution of freedom, peace and justice.

The Legislative Council aims to represent all sectors and groups of Sudanese people, according to Hamdok, and will carry out legislation and oversee issues that will direct the course of the transitional period.

A number of political actors, including the Sudan Professionals Association (SPA), the Sudan Liberation Forces (SLF), the Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council (SLM-TC), related to the Sudan Revolutionary Front Alliance, the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have called for the government to quickly form the "long-awaited" Legislative Council.

Rebel groups

Focusing on the Juba Peace Agreement, signed by the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance on October 3, he stated that “just and sustainable peace will only be achieved by confronting the challenges surrounding peace process talks with courage, firmness, candour, and clarity.”

Hamdok called for the peace process to be completed with “our comrades” from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) without any limitations except with issues that are against national interest.

UNAMID

Hamdok also said that previous totalitarian regimes and dictatorships that governed Sudan did not use the armed forces according to their desired national role, “plunging them into futile wars and reducing their ability to defend the country's borders.”

He said that these regimes were unable to protect their people and that this led to the joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), which officially ended on Thursday despite widespread protests.


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