Hamdok return means tranquillity in two Sudans

Hamdok return means tranquillity in two Sudans
Ousted Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (photo credit: courtesy)

Sudan’s military on Sunday reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after an agreement that was signed with the military leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The leaders agreed to release all political detainees after weeks of deadly unrest triggered by the October 25 coup, which was played down by the military.

Under an agreement signed with military leader Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Hamdok will lead a civilian government of technocrats for a transitional period.

Despite the continued opposition from pro-democracy groups that are still on the streets demanding full civilian rule, for South Sudan, the reinstatement of Prime Minister Hamdok means a lot to the country.

Hamdok, as the chairman of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has a very important role in the implementation of the revitalised peace and his reinstatement, and this means a lot to South Sudan.

Everyone is aware that the implementation of the peace agreement is moving at a very slow pace. As of now, very little has been implemented, and part of the pending chapters is the critical security arrangement. So, it is the role of the IGAD chair to push for the implementation of the chapters that have remained stuck. 

Before the coup, Prime Minister Hamdok had had several discussions with President Salva Kiir and they recommitted to implementing the 2012 cooperation. The two leaders in August 2021 agreed to reopen borders on October 1, after almost 11 years of closure, to ease trade and the movement of people.

The four border crossings were expected to boost the economies of the two countries. Unfortunately, this event did not come to reality as it was interrupted by the unexpected coup that almost put the agreement on death row. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two leaders also confirmed the ‘four freedoms protocol’ of the 2012 cooperation agreement signed by both Sudan and South Sudan. The agreement allows citizens of both countries to enjoy “freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic activity, and freedom to acquire and dispose of the property.

The coup in Sudan almost put the agreement to its dead end after the military seized power from the civilian government. With the reinstatement of Prime Minister Hamdok, there is high hope that the two countries will soon reopen their borders to boost their economies. 

Also, the government and the SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang faction were supposed to enter into dialogue with the government, but the process had been delayed due to the removal of Dr Hamdok. The instability made Khartoum an unfavourable place to hold the talks. But now there is the possibility that the dialogue may begin sometime soon in the future.

It is also in the interest of South Sudan to see that stability prevails in Sudan due to the fact that both countries are hosting refugees. Therefore, the stability in Sudan means a lot for many South Sudanese who consider Khartoum their home.

Most South Sudanese who have lived in Khartoum for over 20 years do not wish to come back home, but the recent coup and ongoing protests in Sudan have been making lives difficult for many of them.

So, the reinstatement of Dr Hamdok as Sudan’s Prime Minister means the return of tranquillity to Sudan and South Sudan.