Sudan PM Hamdok: I wasn’t pressured to sign deal with military

Abdalla Hamdok

A grab from an AFPTV video shows Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok during a deal-signing ceremony with top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (unseen) to restore the transition to civilian rule in the country in the capital Khartoum, on November 21, 2021. 

Photo credit: AFP

Days after signing a political agreement that brought him back to power, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has denied that he was pressured to ink the deal with the army chief, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.

Hamdok said he signed the agreement because he feared the country would slip into further chaos. He noted that the deal will allow democracy to be restored.

Speaking to reporters at the Sudan News Agency on Wednesday, Hamdok indicated that the deal is not complete, but it allows a transformation and for all sides to work together for the benefit of the country.

He stressed that the right to demonstrate is guaranteed by law and the constitution. He said he had spoken with the security services to protect demonstrations. 

A statement from Hamdok's office said he had directed police chiefs to "start the procedures for releasing all detainees from the resistance committees in the capital and the states". 

Hamdok stressed, during his meeting with police leaders, "that peaceful expression and demonstration is a legitimate right" in accordance with the principles of the revolution. 

He said: "The police leadership confirmed its commitment to work in accordance with the law in a manner that preserves everyone's security and safety and to exercise their right to peaceful expression." 

"People have the right to reject or drop the political agreement, but the agreement helps get the country out of the crisis," Hamdok said, referring to negative reactions in the streets to the agreement.

Hamdok added: "Our main concern is to achieve democratic transition and civilian rule. If there is someone who has a better solution for the benefit of the Sudanese people, they are welcome." 

He pointed out that "the decision to resign is easy, but I think we have something to offer to the Sudanese people," expressing his keenness to "implement all the benefits of the Juba Peace Agreement."

Hamdok revealed that all detainees will soon be released, denying that there is "any disagreement over building a unified national army with a single ideology".

Political forces and resistance committees urged demonstrations in Khartoum and other cities on Thursday to demand full civilian rule.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party, in a statement, called for "wide participation in the Thursday Million in refusal of the military coup".

Sudan has witnessed protests since October 25 against the measures taken by the army chief Al-Burhan on the same day that included declaring a state of emergency, dissolving the Sovereign Councils and transitional ministers, dismissing PM Hamdok and arresting party leaders and officials, in what political actors described as a “military coup".

Although Al-Burhan and Hamdok signed a political agreement last Sunday, which includes the latter’s return to his position and the release of political detainees, political and civil groups rejected it as an “attempt to legitimise the coup,” vowing to continue their protests until full civilian rule is restored.
 

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