Hamdok lays conditions for talk amid possible return

Hamdok lays conditions for talk amid possible return
Ousted Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (photo credit: courtesy)

A conclusive remedy is yet to be found on the ongoing Sudanese political crisis after the country’s military orchestrated unpredicted bloodless takeover eliciting widespread condemnation on October 25.

 Dr Abdalla Hamdok, the country’s face of the executive and the point man of the civilian leadership lost the grip of power and ended up being detained for hours in a dramatic event that left the country in ruins.  

Following the military takeover of the power and subsequent desolation of joint civilian and military rule on October 25 by Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Sudan’s government is yet to be reconstituted as protest rages over.

But having been silent for the better part of the fateful week, on Monday, the ousted Dr Hamdok broke his silence with a backing of the Sudanese Professional Association emphasising the calls for civilian rule.

In a meeting with ambassadors of the United States, Britain, and Norway, Dr Hamdok reiterated demands for reinstatement of his seat as mediation efforts continue to bring the country back to normalcy.

According to Aljazeera, the Prime Minister insisted on the legitimacy of his government and institutions and called for the release of the cabinet ministers as well as the full reinstatement of the government.

On Sunday, Aljazeera quoted the UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes  saying, “Many of the interlocutors we are speaking with[are in] Khartoum, but also internationally and regionally [they] are expressing a strong desire that we move forward quickly to get out of the crisis and return to the steps of normalcy.”

But part of this negotiation will involve the release of detainees from the disbanded government.

Aljazeera quoted Kamal al-Gizouli, the lead defence lawyer, for the detained leaders expressing concern over the unknown whereabouts of his clients.

Al-Gizouli said the “detainees are in the most dangerous legal situation” since no one was following their cases.

Apart from the huge chunk of citizenry crying out for the reinstatement of the civilian rule in a one-million march protest like the one that happened on Saturday, international bodies and Western countries expressed unflinching displeasure with the ouster of the civilian leaders.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) African Union (AU) European Union (EU), and UN have all voiced support for Sudan’s transitional government dissolved Gen. Al-Burhan.

The military leader only enjoys favour by the UAE, Sahel, and the Gold States with limited influence.

For instance, the African Union and United Nations suspended Sudan’s membership till the country makes positive progress in solving the conflict.

Dr Hamdok, an international economist, had made progress in correcting the image and removing Sudan’s name from the list of terrorist-sponsoring countries and subsequent lifting its economic sanction following the removal of the longest Sudan serving President Omar Hassan El-Bashir.

In October, the International Alert called on the African Union, Arab League, the UN, and the other international powers to invest in resetting relations with Sudan over the past two years to support its people and facilitate the establishment of an inclusive agenda, timeline, and process for instituting a civilian-led government.

“In the longer term, institutions must be strengthened to break the recurrent cycle of coups. Sudan deserves a governance system that is reflective of the civilian population’s voices and needs,” partly read the International Alert’s statement issued on October 25. 

It continued: “Sudan can benefit from inclusive oversight of the armed forces, an equitable and accessible justice system, and strong anti-corruption frameworks. Sudan requires economic measures that meet the wellbeing needs of citizens.”

With steps made, Dr Hamdok commands the support of not only the sympathisers but also the Sudanese allies who believe in his style of leadership.

With instability being put to test at the expense of neighbours like South Sudan, that have an interest in Khartoum, desperation for a consensus remains key.

This is why President Salva Kiir has sent his Security Advisor Tut Gatluak to Khartoum to complement other international efforts in trying to end the conflict.

Apart from Mr Gatluak’s visit, Kiir also sent the Director-General of Internal Security Bureau Gen. Akol Koor Kuc to initiate the talks at the time the ouster had just happened.

Sudan Tribune quoted Gen. Kuc saying that, “South Sudan does not want to see Sudan falls into the trap of regional conflict’’, adding that,  “We want to play a positive role because instability in Sudan is also instability in South Sudan…any interruption in the oil flow will have dire consequences on the economy of the two countries”.

Although not explicit in her interest apart from the economic sides, South Sudan would find it more beneficial for Sudan to strictly implement the October 2020 Juba Peace Agreement that provides for joint civilian and military rule that transits the country to full-flash democratic civil rule.

This would in consequence play the hands of Dr Hamdok who remains the potential beneficiary.

Besides this, Sudan Tribune reported Gen. Al-Burhan saying that Dr Hamdok remains top of his list for the position of an independent prime minister, where the appointed will assemble a fresh cabinet.

Sudanese political turmoil has so far claimed the lives of several protesters who are pressuring Al-Burhan’s leadership to relinquish his position for a civil rule to take over in the country, comes 2023.

The protestors have vowed they will not negotiate any power-sharing deal with the military that they said their role should be limited to protecting the sovereignty of Sudan without participating in its political affairs.

Could Hamdok get the last laugh?

Sudan which has just emerged out of military rule after ousting Bashir in September 2019, experienced another coup that took place on October 25 draining the hope for democratic Sudan among the citizens.