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Sudan's PM Abdalla Hamdok resigns amid political deadlock

camera_altSudan's resigned PM Abdulla Hamdok/ Reuters File Photo

Cairo: Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation on Sunday amid a political deadlock and widespread pro-democracy protests following a military coup that derailed the country's fragile transition to democratic rule.

Hamdok, a former UN official seen as the civilian face of Sudan's transitional government, had been reinstated as prime minister in November as part of an agreement with the military following the October coup. At that time he had failed to name a Cabinet and his resignation now throws Sudan into political uncertainty amid uphill security and economic challenges.

In a televised national address on Sunday, Hamdok called for a dialogue to agree on a national charter and to draw a roadmap to complete the transition to democracy in accordance with the 2019 constitution document governing the transitional period.

Over the past two weeks, there has been increasing speculation that Hamdok would step down. National and international efforts have failed to convince him to stay in office.

Meanwhile, the US State Department urged on Twitter Sudan's leaders to set aside differences, find consensus, and ensure continued civilian rule following Hamdok's resignation.

It also called for the appointment of the next premier and Cabinet in line with the (2019) constitutional declaration to meet the people's goals of freedom, peace, and justice. Hours before Hamdok's resignation speech, Sudanese security forces violently dispersed pro-democracy protesters, killing at least three people, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee, which is part of the pro-democracy movement. The group said dozens of protesters were injured.

The protests came despite tightened security and blocked bridges and roads in Khartoum and Omdurman. Internet connections were also disrupted ahead of the protests, according to advocacy group NetBlocs. Authorities have used such tactics repeatedly since the October 25 coup.

Sunday's fatalities have brought the death toll among protesters since the coup to at least 57, according to the medical group. Hundreds have also been wounded.

Allegations surfaced last month of sexual violence, including rape and gang rape by security forces against female protesters, according to the United Nations.

The ruling sovereign council has vowed to investigate violence against the protesters.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged security forces to immediately cease the use of deadly force against protesters" and to hold those responsible for the violence accountable.

We do not want to return to the past, and are prepared to respond to those who seek to block the aspirations of the Sudanese people for a civilian-led, democratic government, he added

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TAGS:Sudan prime ministerAbdulla Hamdok
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