Speed Reads

Sudan transition

Sudan prime minister, recently reinstated after military coup, resigns amid tense stalemate

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, deposed by the military in an October coup then reinstated in November under international pressure, resigned in a televised statement Sunday. The Oct. 25 coup derailed a tenuous power-sharing agreement between the military and pro-democracy civilian groups that helped unseat longtime ruler Omar al-Bashar in 2019. 

"Hamdok's resignation follows weeks of wrangling between civilian and military leaders over the formation of a new government, but their differences proved insurmountable," The Washington Post reports

In his resignation announcement, Hamdok said he had been unable to bridge the divides between the ruling military council and the pro-democracy movement. "I have had the honor of serving my countrymen for more than two years. And during his period I have sometimes done well, and I have sometimes failed," he said. "I tried as much as I possibly could to prevent our country from sliding into a disaster. Now, our nation is going through a dangerous turning point that could threaten its survival unless it is urgently rectified."

An umbrella group of political parties and pro-democracy groups, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, had rejected the November deal that had allowed Hamdok to return to office.

Hours before Hamdok's resignation, pro-democracy demonstrators flooded the streets of Khartom, the capital, and Omdurman, in the latest protest since the October coup. Security forces violently dispersed the protests, killing at least three people, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee, bringing their post-coup protest death toll to at least 57. Hundreds of other protesters have been wounded, and the United Nations has reported allegations of sexual violence against protesters, including 13 women and girls who have alleged rape and gang rape by security forces during recent protests. 

The ruling council, chaired by military leader Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has vowed to investigate the violence against protesters, carried out largely by police and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). "Much of Sudan's business interests are now controlled by military and paramilitary figures, and analysts say one major reason they have clung to power, and continue to delay the election timeline, is to buy time to secure continuing control over those interests," the Post reports.