Sudan demonstrations: Thousands protest in the streets of Khartoum and other cities against the Hamdok and Al-Burhan agreement

Sudan demonstrations: Thousands protest in the streets of Khartoum and other cities against the Hamdok and Al-Burhan agreement
Sudan demonstrations: Thousands protest in the streets of Khartoum and other cities against the Hamdok and Al-Burhan agreement

25 November 2021

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Protesters demand the army hand over power to civilians

Thousands of citizens demonstrated in the streets of Khartoum and other Sudanese cities, as protests continued over the agreement between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok.

According to reports, the police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Omdurman and other cities.

The demonstrators in Khartoum chanted the slogan, “The people want the fall of the regime.”

Al-Burhan had seized power on October 25, and arrested the Prime Minister, God Hamdok, but returned him to his post on Sunday after international pressure and widespread popular protests against the coup.

Pictures broadcast live on the Internet showed protests in other cities, including Port Sudan, Kassala, Wad Medani and El Geneina.

Although the return of Hamdok to the premiership is a concession from the evidence, in the opinion of many, political parties and civil society organizations believe that the army should not have any political role.

The agreement between Al-Burhan and Hamdok stipulates that the latter will lead a government of technocrats during a transitional period, which will last until 2023, in which he will share power with the army.

It is based on its provisions on a previous deal concluded between the army and political forces after the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir’s rule in 2019, which provides for the sharing of power between them until elections are organized.

But the coup spoiled the deal with civilians.

Political movements reject the agreement between Hamdok and the army chief, denouncing the violence suffered by protesters against a coup last month.

Hamdok said Wednesday that he accepted the agreement with the army in order to “stop the bloodshed of the Sudanese” and “not waste the gains of the past two years,” stressing that the Sudanese authorities are committed to “democracy and freedom of expression.”

AFP quoted one of the protesters in Khartoum, Siddiq Al-Zubayr, as saying that the partnership between Hamdok and the army was “a stab in the back of the revolution that overthrew Al-Bashir.”

As for the protester, Amani Abdullah, she said: “We have no problem with Hamdok,” but “we don’t want the army, we want pure civilian rule.”

The UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, who brokered the agreement between civilians and the military after the coup, described the protests as “another test of the credibility of the agreement.”

He urged the authorities to authorize the demonstrations “without bloodshed, or arbitrary arrests.”

Hamdok said that the agreement with Al-Burhan set a “clear timetable” for holding elections in July 2023.

The agreement carried hope for Sudan to return to the transitional path, but opponents described it as an attempt to “whitewash” the coup.

Twelve ministers from Hamdok’s government resigned out of 17, demanding civilian rule, refusing to agree with the army, and warning against an attempt to “legitimize the coup.”

But the agreement was welcomed by the United Nations, the African Union and Western countries. He was also welcomed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which have a strong relationship with the Sudanese army.

Sudanese authorities have released many civil activists arrested after the coup, but prominent figures remain in detention.

Peretz welcomed the release, but said that if the authorities wanted “the political agreement to be taken seriously, they should immediately release all detainees.”

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