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Sudan PM Hamdok resigns amid anti-military protests

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has resigned, less than two months after being reinstated as part of an political agreement with the military.

In a televised speech on Sunday, he said a roundtable discussion was needed to come to a new agreement for Sudan’s political transition to democracy.

“I have tried my best to stop the country from sliding towards disaster,” he said, addressing the nation.

“In view of the fragmentation of the political forces and conflicts between the (military and civilian) components of the transition… despite everything that has been done to reach a consensus… it has not happened”, he said.

Sudan “is crossing a dangerous turning point that threatens its whole survival,” he added.

Hamdok’s resignation came amid massive protests against the country’s military and new deaths as security forces shot dead two people, bringing to 56 the death toll in protests since a coup on October 25.

Thousands had taken to the streets in capital Khartoum and other cities across the country to denounce the October takeover, and a subsequent deal that reinstated the prime minister but sidelined the pro-democracy movement.

Crisis widens

The October military takeover upended a fragile planned transition to democratic rule following a popular uprising that forced the military’s overthrow of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir and his government in April 2019.

Hamdok, a former UN official seen as the civilian face of Sudan’s transitional government, was reinstated in November amid international pressure in a deal that calls for an independent technocratic Cabinet under military oversight led by him.

That deal, however, was rejected by the pro-democracy movement, which insists that power be handed over to a fully civilian government tasked with leading the transition.

Hamdok defended the November 21 deal with the military, saying that it was meant to preserve achievements his government made in the past two years, and to “protect our nation from sliding to a new international isolation.”

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