Prime Minister of newly liberated Sudan defends deal with military, says he made it to ‘avoid bloodshed’


Prime minister Abdullah Hamdoki and other ministers were detained during a military coup Last month when the country’s power-sharing government was dissolved; So far more than 40 people have been killed in the protests.

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Hamdok said he was “sorry for the bloodshed” that followed the October 25 coup; He said the agreement was signed “to avoid further killing”.

“It’s not a personal interest to me,” he said. “There is a motto that says you will die for the country. I took the right decision.”

Under the deal agreed by Hamdok and al-Burhan, Hamdok again becomes the leader of the transitional government, first installed in 2019 after strongman President Omar al-Bashir was ousted.

The Council of Ministers, which was dissolved on 25 October, will be reinstated and the civil and military leadership will share power. The Constitution would be amended to outline the partnership between civilians and the military in the transitional government.

But the agreement also includes an as-yet-unspecified restructuring, according to Mudavi Ibrahim, a key official in the National Forces Initiative (NFI), who helped mediate the talks, and it has been met with resistance in Sudan.

According to eyewitnesses, police fired tear gas at a large group of protesters near the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Khartoum on Sunday.

The deal was rejected by Sudan’s Forces of Freedom and Change Coalition (FCC), insisting that “there is no negotiation, no partnership, and no legitimacy for the coup d’état.”

On Monday, Ibrahim told CNN that the agreement was “very disrespectful to the prime minister”, adding that it was accepted “for the sake of the country”.

“A lot of people are dying on the streets… so the prime minister had to take this step and accept the humiliation,” he said.

But Hamdok, who was placed under house arrest until Sunday, denied the idea that he was humiliated and insisted he had made the right choice.

He described the deal with the military as incomplete and weak, but said the decision to sign it was taken to avoid disaster.

“There is a perfect agreement and there is a workable agreement. If you wait for a perfect agreement, you will wait too long and it will be too late,” he said.

He said he had confidence in the military and resolved to work with them to “establish a fair roadmap” for Sudan’s future.

The deal, signed on live television, calls for the release of all political prisoners arrested by security forces after the coup.

Hamdok said that only nine of the 31 prisoners had been released so far; They demanded the immediate release of those still detained.

“It’s the number one agenda item,” he said. “I will not rest until they are all released.”

Yasir Abdullah and Iyad Kurdi contributed to this report.