Sudan in Difficult Position After PM Resignation, Analysts Say

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned Sunday after mass protests against a deal he made with the military following the October coup. Political analysts say Hamdok’s resignation is a blow to the country’s political stability and hopes for a return to a civilian-led government.

In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he was resigning to make way for another person to lead and called on comprehensive dialogue to end the political crisis that has engulfed the nation for two years.

Hafez Kabir is a Sudanese political commentator. He says Hamdok’s resignation leaves the country in a difficult situation.

“Sudan will witness a new crisis because there are many military groups, there are many political groups and their opinion is not the same. The military threatened Sudan’s unity. There are many problems on the economic side, social side, so we want a new initiative, comprehensive solution that can save the situation in Sudan,” he said.

Kizito Sabala, an expert in diplomacy and international relations, says Hamdok’s resignation proves that it’s difficult to block the military from the country’s politics.

“The transition in Sudan is very difficult.The military structure Bashir left means that structure is very strong and therefore for Sudan to move forward, a lot of work must be done to ensure that they de-link politics from the military, which is a long process that will take so many years. It also implies that any support that the military has been having through the good international standing of Hamdok is going to fizzle out,” he said.

In October, army officers pushed out Hamdok’s civilian-led government. Military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan defended the military action, saying it was to prevent the outbreak of civil war.

Hamdok signed an agreement with the military rulers in November, but the Sudanese population questioned the prime minister’s power after he was reinstated.

Shakur Nyaketo, a journalist and activist, says new blood is needed to lead the civilian side of the government.

“The political parties are still in an argument. They are not together. Now thinking of reforming their political parties, they want to come up with one national front so that they can clean their image with the communities and the public. But they do not trust the [other] political parties. The public right now are asking for a civilian government that should be formed from technocrats, not from political parties,” he said.

Sudanese youth continue to march in the streets against the military, and the protests are consistently suppressed through force.

On Sunday, thousands marched, demanding that the military get out of politics. According to Sudan’s Central Doctors Committee, two people were killed. The military has been cited as saying it will permit peaceful protests and hold those responsible for violence accountable.

So far, 57 people have been killed since the military seized power in October.

The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs issued a statement on its Twitter page after Hamdok resigned, urging Sudanese leaders to “set aside differences, find consensus, and ensure continued civilian rule.”

The United Nations’ Sudan representative, Volker Perthes, issued a tweet Monday, saying he regrets Hamdok’s decision but respects it.

Sabala says Sudan is at a crossroads, and international pressure is required for the military to ease its grip on power and accept the country’s need to move to a democratic phase.

Source: Voice of America