KHARTOUM: Nearly a month after Sudan’s top general ousted the prime minister, they signed a breakthrough deal on Sunday to reverse the military takeover that had sparked international condemnation and mass protests.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan appeared at the presidential palace in Khartoum for a televised ceremony with a haggard-looking premier Abdalla Hamdok, who had just been freed from house arrest.
The 14-point deal restores the transition to the civilian rule that had been derailed by the October 25 putsch, which threw the poverty-stricken northeast African country into renewed turmoil and set off a wave of street protests.
The agreement, which comes after weeks of crisis talks involving Sudanese and outside players, declared that “the decision of the general commander of the armed forces to relieve the transitional prime minister is canceled” and to release all political detainees.
It raised hopes Sudan will be able to return to its fragile transition process toward full democracy that started after the 2019 ouster of veteran autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. Despite the breakthrough, thousands of protesters again rallied in several cities, met by security forces who fired teargas in the capital — the latest of a series of protests that, medics say, have claimed 40 lives.
A frail-looking Hamdok was seen on-air extolling the virtues of the “revolution” that brought him to power in 2019. Standing beside him, Burhan thanked Hamdok for his service and vowed that “free and transparent elections” would be held as part of the transitional process.
“He (Hamdok) was patient with us until we reached this moment,” Burhan said before posing for photos with his deputy Hamdan Daglo, head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, and the newly restored PM holding copies of the inked agreement.