Africa

Sudan’s premier presents road map out of crisis

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Berlin, Germany, February 14, 2020. REUTERS-Hannibal Hanschke

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Friday unveiled a road map to end what he described as the country’s “worst and most dangerous” political crisis in its two-year transition.

Since a coup attempt in late September, Sudan’s military and civilian power-sharing partners have been locked in a war of words, with military leaders demanding the reform of the cabinet and the ruling coalition. Civilian politicians accused the military of aiming for a power grab.

“The coup attempt opened the door for discord, and for all the hidden disputes and accusations from all sides, and in this way we are throwing the future of our country and people and revolution to the wind,” Hamdok said in a speech.

Sudan’s military and a coalition of civilian political parties have ruled under a power-sharing agreement since the removal of former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Bashir loyalists are accused of executing the failed coup attempt.

Hamdok described the current conflict as not between the military and civilians but between those who believe in a transition towards democracy and civilian leadership and those who do not.

“I am not neutral or a mediator in this conflict. My clear and firm position is complete alignment to the civilian democratic transition,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said he had spoken to both sides, and presented them with a road map that called for the end of escalation and one-sided decision-making and a return to a functioning government.

He emphasized the importance of the formation of a transitional legislature, reform of the military, and the expansion of the base for political participation.

Referring to an ongoing blockade of the country’s main port in the East of the country by protesting tribesmen, Hamdok described their grievances as legitimate while asking that they re-open the flow of trade. He also said an international donors’ conference to benefit the region was being organized.

Civilian politicians have accused the military of being behind the blockade, which it denies.

Political groups aligned with the military have called for protests in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday. Groups advocating for the civilian rule have called for protests on October 21.

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