The National - News

Protesters reject Sudan deal and call on military to leave politics


Thousands of protesters rallied in Sudan on Thursday against a deal in which Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was reinstated after his removal in a military coup last month.

Demonstrat­ors in Khartoum chanted “the people want the downfall of the regime”. In the capital’s twin city Omdurman, street protesters shouted “power to the people, a civilian government is the people’s choice”.

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Khartoum, Omdurman, the central state of North Kordofan and North Darfur, witnesses said.

Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan seized power and detained Mr Hamdok on October 25, but after internatio­nal condemnati­on and mass protests the civilian leader was reinstated in a deal they signed on Sunday.

“I initially went out to protest to demand retributio­n for people killed after the coup, and now I am protesting against the Burhan-Hamdok deal,” Soheir Hamad said in south Khartoum.

This deal “blocks the way towards a full civilian rule. We don’t want the military to play a role in politics,” she said.

Protests also broke out in other states including Wad Medani, Kassala, and the western Darfur region, witnesses said.

Thursday’s demonstrat­ions showed significan­t opposition to the deal announced on Sunday to bring back Mr Hamdok. Powerful pro-democracy groups who regarded him as a popular hero now portray him as the man who betrayed the 2018-19 revolution that toppled autocratic ruler Omar Al Bashir.

Mr Hamdok says he agreed to return as prime minister to resume the country’s democratic transition derailed by the military takeover and to stop the bloodshed that it brought.

At least 41 protesters have been killed since the October 25 takeover and hundreds injured.

He also said he wanted to protect the economic gains made by the reforms he introduced since he took office in 2019. On Wednesday, he said the deal he struck with the military prevented Sudan from sliding into the chaos that is engulfing other countries in the region, such as Yemen and Syria.

His reinstatem­ent after nearly a month under house arrest, however, has raised questions on the extent of authority he will now wield and whether he would be beholden to the military, led by Gen Al Burhan, who is also in charge of the Sovereignt­y Council.

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