Sudanese PM Hamdok denies signing agreement under duress
Days after signing the political agreement preceding his reinstatement, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok denied that he was subjected to internal or external pressure to enter a deal with the army chief Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.
Instead, Hamdok said that he signed the agreement as he was afraid the country could slip into chaos, stressing that the agreement allowed the restoration of the civil democratic transformation agenda.
Speaking to reporters at the Sudan News Agency on Wednesday, November 24, Hamdok indicated that the agreement was on how to go about transition to civilian leadership and how to work together for the benefit of the country.
PM Hamdok also said there were political gains that have been achieved following the signing of the agreement, and urged parties to put emphasis on the positive aspect while trying to avoid the downsides. He said that his singular focus was achieving transitional justice and seeking to complete the peace process.
PM Hamdok was speaking during the media symposium held on the political agreement and the future of democratic transition in the country, when he also observed that the Sudanese economy may have been affected due to external transfers, but despite the exchange rate remained unaffected.
The PM also stressed that the right to demonstrate is guaranteed by law and the constitution, adding that he had spoken with the security services to protect the processions.
He also noted that the issue of the Ministry of Finance’s jurisdiction over public funds remains crucial and would be approached as such.
In a statement issued by his office, PM Hamdok said that he had directed the police chiefs to “secure the demonstrator of this November 25, and start the procedures for releasing all detainees from the resistance committees in the capital and the states.”
The statement added that Hamdok added “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, commenting on a wave of rejection of the agreement in the Sudanese street.
He added that “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.”
On the other hand, the Sudanese PM stressed that he will not remain the head of the executive body if he is unable to protect himself from interference, explaining that “As long as I am at the head of the executive body, I will protect him from any interference.”
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 committeescalled ondemonstrations in Khartoum and the country’s cities, on Thursday, to demand full civilian rule.
In a related context, the Communist Party released a statement calling for “wide participation in the Thursday Million in refusal of the military coup.”
He stressed the need to continue peaceful resistance in various forms, including processions, sit-ins and vigils.
Sudan has witnessed protests against measures taken by the army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, which included declaring a state of emergency, dissolving the Sovereign Councils and transitional ministers, dismissing Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, and arresting party leaders and officials, within measures described by political forces as “military coup”.
Although Al-Burhan and Hamdok signed a political agreement last Sunday, which included terms for the latter’s return to his position, the formation of a government of competencies, the release of political detainees, and the two parties pledged to work together to complete the democratic path, political and civil forces expressed their rejection of the agreement as an “attempt to legitimise the coup,” vowing to continue protests until full civilian rule is achieved.