Asia

Sudan military leaders reinstate deposed prime minister


CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s military and civilian leaders reached a deal to reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was deposed in a coup last month. According to the deal, signed Sunday, the military will also release government officials and politicians arrested since the Oct. 25 coup.

The country’s top general, Abdel Fattah Burhan, said in televised statements that Hamdok will lead an independent technocratic Cabinet until elections can be held. It remains unclear how much power the government would hold. It would still remain under military oversight.

The coup, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government, has drawn international criticism.

Sudanese have been taking to the streets in masses since the military takeover, which upended the country’s fragile transition to democracy. The agreement comes just days after doctors said at least 15 people were killed by live fire during anti-coup demonstrations. Hamdok has been held under house arrest by military leaders for weeks.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

CAIRO (AP) — A deal was reached between Sudan’s military and civilian leaders to reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was deposed in a coup last month, military and government officials said Sunday.

They also said that government officials and politicians arrested since the Oct. 25 coup will be released as part of the deal between the military and political parties, including the largest Umma Party. However, the party later issued a statement implying that it did not sign off on the deal.

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Hamdok will lead an independent technocratic Cabinet, the officials said. They said the U.N., the U.S. and others played “crucial roles” in crafting the agreement. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal before the official announcement.

The coup, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government, has drawn international criticism. The United States, its allies and the United Nations have condemned the use of excessive force against anti-coup protesters.

Sudanese have been taking to the streets in masses since the military takeover, which upended the country’s fragile transition to democracy. The agreement comes just days after doctors said at least 15 people were killed by live fire during anti-coup demonstrations.

The military has tightened its grip on power, appointing a new, military-run Sovereign Council. The council is chaired by coup leader Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan.

The Sovereign Council will meet later Sunday before announcing the deal, the officials said.

A national initiative formed after the coup that includes political parties and public figures said in a statement that Hamdok would be reinstated and will form a technocratic Cabinet. It said the deal would be signed later Sunday along with a political declaration. It did not elaborate.

However, the Umma Party released a statement stressing its opposition to any deal that fails to “meet the aspirations of all revolutionaries and the Sudanese people.”

“The party expresses its faith in the victorious and rebellious resistance and reaffirms that it shall always stand by the people to protect justice,” it said.

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Also, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, the group that spearheaded the uprising that culminated in al-Bashir’s ouster, objected to any deals with the military.

In a statement Sunday, the group reiterated its opposition to any new political partnership with the military, insisting the perpetrators of the coup should be brought to justice.

“We are not concerned with any agreements with this brute junta and we are employing all peaceful and creative methods to bring it down,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, thousands took to the streets in the capital of Khartoum on Sunday to denounce the coup and demand the immediate transfer of power to civilians. Protesters waved the Sudanese flag and chanted “Power is to the people! The military are to stay in the barracks.”

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Associated Press writer Noha ElHennawy in Cairo contributed.






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