Sudan’s PM Hamdok reinstated but opposition reject deal
Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), and leader of the military junta that seized power in a coup d’état on October 25, signed an agreement with Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum today, to reinstate the PM – who has been under house arrest since the coup – and return the country to democratic transition in terms of the Constitutional Document.
In speeches following the signing this afternoon, El Burhan and Hamdok both hailed the agreement as a major achievement, however the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change FFC – the main drivers of the revolution that overthrew the 30-year Al Bashir dictatorship in 2019, and convenors of an ongoing campaign of civil disobedience and mass demonstrations since the coup – have rejected any deal, calling for the coup leaders to be put on trial for undermining the regime, and for crimes against peaceful demonstrators.
In separate statements, the major opposition National Umma Party, the Sudanese Congress Party, and the Federal Gathering, have all echoed the FFC and reiterated their rejection of any deal with the junta, calling for a complete return to civilian government, and condemning the putschists.
Today’s agreement provides for the Sovereignty Council to supervise the tasks of the transitional period, without direct interference in the executive work. It also stipulates that the Constitutional Document is the reference for completing the transitional phase, taking into account and addressing the situation in eastern Sudan.
Government of technocrats
The two parties agreed to amend the Constitutional Document to ensure comprehensive political participation. The agreement stipulated the formation of a “government of competencies,” and the declaration included that “the partnership between civilians and the military is the guarantor of the stability of Sudan, the enforcement of the partnership, and the formation of a civilian government with independent national competencies (technocrats), while ensuring the transfer of power to an elected civilian government at the end of the transitional period.
The agreement also stipulates the release of all political detainees, an investigation into the events that took place during the demonstrations, including injuries and deaths among civilians and soldiers, and to bringing those involved to justice.
The agreement included the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement and its entitlements and the joining of the non-signatories to peace, in addition to expediting the formation of the Legislative Council, the Constitutional Court, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General.
The two parties also agreed to restructure the Empowerment Removal Committee*, review its performance during the coming period, provide it with competencies, and activate the Appeals Committee. Working on building a unified national army, and agreeing on a broad and transparent dialogue between all forces for the establishment of the Constitutional Conference.
PM Abdallah Hamdok
Speaking at the signing ceremony, PM Hamdok described the agreement as “an achievement that is a result of the hard work of friends and brothers”. He said that “the signing of the agreement opens the door wide to address the issues of transition and its challenges”.
‘We can overcome challenges with a unified will’ – PM Abdallah Hamdok
Hamdok says he was guided by four issues to sign the agreement, which are saving the blood of the Sudanese, and providing the energies of youth, asserting that “the agreement helps to break the internal and external suffocation, and restores the path of transition to achieve democracy.” He says that the agreement provides the possibility of preserving the gains made during the past two years, including in peace and the economy. He also called for consensus on how to govern Sudan. “We can overcome challenges with a unified will,” he added.
Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan
Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan said following the signing that the agreement is “one of the lines of defence for the revolution,” and that the agreement “truly establishes the completion of the transitional period in a consensual manner, and a true partnership with all forces except the National Congress Party,” which was established by ousted dictator Omar Al Bashir and officially dissolved in November 2019(
El Burhan thanked Hamdok, saying that the PM “has remained in the place of our trust, appreciation and respect”, and acknowledging that Hamdok has been striving for a long time for rapprochement between the parties. He added, “He remained patient and steadfast, and the connection between us did not break.”
Meanwhile, mass public protests continue in the streets outside the Presidential Palace, as tens of thousands of people converged in ‘The Earthquake of the People’, called by opposition groups spearheaded by the FFC.
Military forces fired tear gas heavily at one of the demonstrations heading to the palace, as participants chanted slogans rejecting any negotiation or partnership with the coup leaders.
The Central Council of the FFC announced in a statement that it is not concerned with any agreement with what it described as “the brute junta,” stressing that “there is no negotiation, no partnership, and no legitimacy for the putschists”. In a statement, the council stressed the need to bring the leaders of the coup to immediate trial for the crimes of undermining the regime, killing peaceful demonstrators, and enforced disappearances.
The council emphasised working by all peaceful means to overthrow the coup with all the forces of the revolution.
In a separate statements, the National Umma Party, the Sudanese Congress, and the Federal Gathering announced that they are not a party to any agreement between the military component and PM Hamdok.
El Watheg El Bereir, Secretary-General of the National Umma Party, stressed that the party rejects any political agreement that does not go into the roots of the crisis produced by the coup, including the killing of revolutionaries.
The Sudanese Congress Party announced that it would not participate in any negotiations to reach an agreement between the leaders of the coup and PM Hamdok, demanding that the coup plotters and perpetrators of violations be brought to justice.
The Federal Gathering affirmed its alignment with the street position and the escalation of the political struggle against the junta, until it hands over power to a purely civilian government.
* The full name of the committee is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption and Recovery of Public Funds. It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok in November 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the ousted regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019). Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the Al Bashir government supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions.
On September 26, security forces charged with the protection of the office building of the ERC and recovered assets were instructed to abandon their posts, leaving the office and assets vulnerable. To date it is unclear who was responsible for the orders. In social media, various Sudanese accused the military establishment to be behind the move. Last Thursday, thousands of people took part in demonstrations in support of the ERC and the democratic transition in the country. They denounced the tensions between the military and civilian components of the Sudanese government, and called for the establishment of a civilian government.
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