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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Qatar welcomes Sudan political agreement

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Sudan’s military rulers have come under increasing pressure to reinstate Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

Qatar welcomed the political agreement signed in Sudan after the military junta released Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok whom they had put under house arrest following the October coup.

“Qatar urges the Sovereignty Council and the Ministers to continue the process of dialogue and coordination with all forces representing the brotherly Sudanese people, to reach a consensual formula that represents all spectrums of the people,” read a statement by the Doha’s foreign ministry [MOFA] on Monday.

Hamdok returned to office on Sunday after signing a political agreement with Sudan’s coup leader and army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan under which the former will lead a civilian government of technocrats for a transitional period.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Monday, Hamdok said that the agreement will ensure that he has the “power and authority” to form an independent government with “absolute liberty and without any pressure”.

However, the agreement received nation-wide rejection by pro-democracy protestors as it fell short of their demands for the country’s generals to step aside from politics and relinquish their powers.

The agreement also failed to mention the Forces of Freedom and Change [FFC], the civilian coalition that shared power with the military prior the coup as several individuals with links to former ruler Al Bashir attended the signing ceremony.

The FFC and the Sudanese Professionals Association [SPA] were among those who rejected the latest compromise.

Following the signing, tens of thousands of people rallied in Khartoum and the cities of Omdurman and Bahri as security forces fired bullets and tear gas on them, killing 16-year-old Youssef Abdel Hamid.

Read also: Sudan releases Al Jazeera bureau chief following global pressure

“Hamdok has disappointed us. Our only option is the street,” Omar Ibrahim, a 26-year-old protester in Khartoum told the Reuters news agency.

Al Burhan launched a military coup on 25 October that saw the detention of civilian members of Sudan’s ruling body, including Prime Minister Hamdok, who refused to support the putsch.

Burhan has also cut off internet access as his forces cracked down violently on protesters across the country.

Qatar was among a list of countries that had rejected the latest power grab in Sudan. Sudanese soldiers also arrested Al Jazeera’s bureau chief El Musalmi El Kabbashi before later releasing him.

Furthermore, Al Burhan had “relieved” the Sudanese ambassador to Qatar and five others from their duties, including the US, EU, China, France and the head of its mission to Geneva during the beginning of the coup.

The latest developments came ahead of a scheduled power transfer to the civilian Sovereign Council, which the military viewed as a threat to its influence in the country.

Since the overthrow of former President Al Bashir, who was toppled after a country-wide revolution in 2019, several coup attempts have taken place in the country, though were have been successful.

In September, Sudan witnessed one such coup attempt that was quickly suppressed by authorities. Some military officers and civilians accused of links to the previous President Al-Bashir regime attempted to overthrow the transitional government in Sudan.

Shortly after, Sudanese authorities said the situation was under control, and 21 officers and a number of other soldiers were detained for interrogation.

The African country has been grappling with a fragile path to democratic rule since the military’s overthrow of Bashir, with the joint civilian and military government struggling to control a dire economic and political situation in the country.
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