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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sudan’s PM Hamdok receives official invitation to Qatar


The Sudanese Prime Minister is expected to visit Doha following the recent signing of peace deals in Sudan.

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok received an official invitation to visit Qatar for the first time since he took the country’s leadership position in 2019, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Qatari envoy to Sudan, Abdel-Rahman bin Ali Al-Kubaisy handed the newly-appointed prime minister the invitation. However, the date of his anticipated arrival and the purpose of the visit was not disclosed.

Hamdok came to power in 2019 after Sudan’s mass protests pushed for the removal of long-time authoritarian President Omar al-Bashir, who is now behind bars in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

The Sudanese prime minister has more than 30 years of experience as an economist and senior policy analyst specialising in economic development across Africa. Hamdok last served as deputy executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, a position he held since November 2011.

Hamdok currently leads the country’s transitional cabinet – a coalition of military and civilian members that has governed the country since the ousting of Bashir.

Qatar’s peace agreements in Sudan

Hamdok’s invitation comes following Qatar’s participation in the final signing ceremony of the peace agreement between the transitional government of the Republic of Sudan and the Sudanese Armed Movements.

During the signing of the Qatar-sponsored agreement, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi said that it “addressed the roots of the conflict and its repercussions”, noting Doha has always been prepared to overcome obstacles and challenges in its bid to achieve peace.

Read also: ‘A unique moment in history’: Qatar attends Sudan peace signing ceremony

The Gulf country has also sponsored a similar negotiation process in 2011 that resulted in the Darfur Peace Agreement, which brought together the government of Sudan and the armed movements to quell the six-year-long Darfur conflict. At least 300,000 people were killed and around 2.7 million were displaced during the genocide.

Then in 2013, Qatar hosted the International Donors Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur, where the country pledged to raise $7.2 billion to help rebuild the conflict area over a period of six years.

Later in 2017, in efforts to boost the reconstruction of Darfur, the Qatari Fund for Development signed an agreement of $70 million, while funding ten projects to include fully integrated villages for refugees and people displaced due to the war.

Read also: Qatar calls for removal of Sudan from US list of ‘states sponsoring terrorism’

More recently, Qatar has called for the removal of Sudan from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism.

The removal from the list will help the country rise again, reconstruct all the damage sustained over the years and to overcome its developmental and economic challenges, said Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri, Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva.

Countries on the US’ list of states sponsoring terrorism are not eligible for aid from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, two key international organisations that help nations in dire conditions, like Sudan, stand on their feet.

Washington began the delisting process in 2017, but put it on hold due to pro-democracy protests that led to the ousting of former president Omar Al-Bashir, who played a significant role in the Darfur genocide that saw the murder of at least 300,000 people.

The State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) list was created in 1979, with Sudan, Syria, Iran, and North Korea currently on the list.

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