Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has resigned following continued mass pro-democracy protests at the capital Khartoum.
His resignation grants Sudan’s military full control over the country as they continue their violent crackdown on democratic protesters.
Over 50 people have been killed since the military staged a coup in October which initially placed Prime Minister Hamdok under house arrest; the country was just one month away from transitioning to a civilian head of state. On Sunday two people were killed during pro-democracy protests.
The leader of the coup general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has defended the coup claiming that the army acted to prevent a civil war. He further claimed that Sudan is committed to the transition to civilian rule, with elections planned for July 2023.
This was followed by a power-sharing agreement with the military established in November. Responding to the Prime Minister’s resignation, political commentator Emmanuel Igunza stated:
“The resignation of PM Abdalla Hamdok is a big blow to the military leaders who had thought an agreement with Mr Hamdok would appease protesters and legitimize their stay in power”.
Writing in Foreign Policy, Amgad Fareid Eltayeb, a former assistant chief of staff to Hamdok, urged UN Security Council members to impose pressure on Sudan to ensure a transition towards civilian rule. He urged for the establishment of a panel to support for a democratic transition in Sudan as well as “direct individual sanctions against” those who led the coup. Eltayeb also maintained the need to discuss “discuss the transitional justice process and agree to procedures for truth and national reconciliation”.
In his piece Eltayeb also raised his concerns over the heightened risk of conflict with South Sudan and emphasised that “what happens in Sudan is not simply an African problem”.
“It touches at the heart of the global competition between the democratic, rules-based order and those countries offering alternative authoritarian approaches. The collapse of the civil democratic transition in Sudan will strengthen the Russian presence in the region” he notes.
“The international community needs to act quickly and forcefully now to avert an explosion, rather than reacting later and seeking to put out the fire” he maintained.