US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Britain Voice Support for Sudanese Political Deal.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a session of the summit to support Sudan, May 17, 2021Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok speaks during a session of the summit to support Sudan, May 17, 2021

The United States and three other countries voiced encouragement Thursday over a political deal to reinstate Abdalla Hamdok as Sudan’s prime minister.

Sudanese military leaders struck a deal with civilian political forces on November 21 to return Hamdok to power after he was deposed in an October 25 military coup and spent nearly four weeks under house arrest.

The deal empowers Hamdok to lead a government during a political transition expected to last until 2023 while sharing power with the military.

Members of major political parties and Sudan’s influential protest movement have opposed the agreement, with some calling it a betrayal.

Members of a disparate alliance including warlords, military, militia leaders and former Bashir loyalists have been calling for the restoration of military rule, while several cabinet ministers took part last week in big protests in Khartoum and other cities against the prospect.

Hamdok, who was detained overnight, was reportedly moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the coup, said the information ministry, which was still apparently under the control of his supporters.

the US embassy in Khartoum advised American citizens to shelter in place the coup attracted widespread international condemnation including from the US, UK, EU and UN.

Protesters blocked roads with barricades and burning tyres crowds, chanted the word “civilian”  for civilian rule  and accused Burhan of being in the pocket of the country’s Islamists.

The US, which has been mediating in Sudan, condemned the arrests and said it was suspending $700 million in aid that was designed to support Sudan’s democratic transition. Domestic opponents of the military called for nationwide protests and a general strike.

Witnesses in Khartoum described security forces from the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces stationed in the streets.

Sudan has experienced a number of coups since it gained independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956. Bashir came to power in a 1989 military coup that removed the country’s last elected government.

Since street protests brought Bashir down, a political transition has helped Sudan emerge from international isolation under his nearly three-decade rule. Elections were to be held by the end of 2023.

The November deal is meant to be based on an earlier agreement reached between the military and civilian political forces after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, when they had agreed to share power until elections.

The agreement sparked massive street protests in Khartoum and other cities days after it was reached. As of late November, at least 40 unarmed protesters had been killed by excessive force used by the country’s security forces during nationwide protests since the coup, according to Amnesty International, which attributed the death toll to the Sudanese Doctors Committee.

“We urge signatories to live up to the commitments made in the political agreement,” the U.S., Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Britain said in a joint statement. “In this respect we note with appreciation the recent releases of political detainees, and the establishment of a committee of investigation to ensure that those responsible for violence against protestors are held accountable.

The military coup occurred after weeks of escalating tensions between military and civilian leaders over Sudan’s transition to democracy.

The coup has threatened to derail the process that began after the ouster of longtime autocrat Bashir in a popular uprising in 2019.

 

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