Sudan’s civilian Prime Minister (PM) Abdalla Hamdok who was deposed during a military coup in October 2021 before being restored back to power has stepped down following another deadly crackdown on protesters in the capital city of Khartoum, with the military now firmly in control. Sudan had been undergoing a fragile journey toward civilian rule since the 2019 ouster of Omar al-Bashir but was plunged into turmoil when military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan launched his coup on October 25 and detained Hamdok.
The PM was then reinstated on November 21 under a deal calling for an independent technocratic cabinet under military oversigh (which was rejected by the pro-democracy movement, which insists power be handed over to a fully civilian government) and also promising elections for mid-2023, but howvere, local media had recently reported he had been absent from his office for days, with rumours swirling over his possible resignation.
Few hours into the new year, thousands marched against a recent deal Hamdok had done to share power with the army, who had ealier staged a coup, chanting "power to the people", then called for a return to full civilian rule. But military forces again responded with force, leaving two people dead, pushing the number of people killed since the coup to 57.
With this recent development, in a televised address, Mr Hamdok said his mediation attempts with civilian and military officials “to achieve the necessary consensus to be able to deliver to our people the promise of peace, justice and no bloodshed” had failed.
He added that Sudan needed to engage in a new dialogue to agree on a “national charter” and “draw a roadmap” to complete the transition to civilian rule. He also warned the political deadlock could become an existential crisis.
“I tried as much as I possibly could to prevent our country from sliding into a disaster. Now, our nation is going through a dangerous turning point that could threaten its survival unless it is urgently rectified,” he said.
Hamdok was the civilian face of the country’s fragile transition, while Burhan has been the country’s de facto leader following Bashir’s ouster.