Thu. Jan 20th, 2022


Two months after he was reappointed as prime minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok resigned in a televised speech on Sunday, saying a new round of talks was needed with the military over a stalemate over democracy.

“I have decided to return the responsibility and announce my resignation as Prime Minister, and give a chance to another man or woman of this noble country,” he said.

The resignation of the prime minister, a technocrat and former UN banker, comes after mass street protests against a military coup last October and a deteriorating economy. Security forces violently dispersed crowds and demanded that military rule be ended, killing at least two, according to a group of doctors. At least 56 people have been killed since the coup in October and several hundred since waves of protests erupted in late 2018.

In 2019, months of street demonstrations, initially led by women and professionals, prompted the military to oust longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power for 30 years. A new set of military leaders led by Abdel Fattah Burhan, who is now de facto head of state, has put together a hybrid military-civilian council tasked with moving the country to democracy.

Sudan’s economy has since plunged into an economic crisis, exacerbated by Covid and the need for profound structural reforms after decades of mismanagement and rampant spending on the military.

As the Transitional Council became popular, the generals moved in against Hamdok last October and placed him under house arrest. They reappointed him in November after international pressure, especially from the US, which linked aid and debt forgiveness with progress towards democracy.

The military says they are committed to holding democratic elections in 2023, but progress towards that goal has been slow and Hamdok’s position in government has become increasingly untenable.

Once a hero of street protesters who saw him as a civilian control over military power, Hamdok’s popularity declined amid signs that he had little real authority. Those measures he succeeded in implementing, including the removal of an expensive fuel subsidy, were unpopular because of their impact on the poor.

Two days ago, Cameron Hudson, a Sudanese expert at the Atlantic Council in Washington, argued on Twitter that Hamdok “could not continue to serve as prime minister and legitimize a military government that kills and terrorizes innocent civilians.” There is no option left as resignation, “he wrote.



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