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Sudanese army reinstates prime minister, but left warns against new power-sharing deal

SUDAN’S military chiefs agreed today to reinstate ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok — but the Communist Party warned that civilian leaders should not be hoodwinked into a new alliance with the army that recently overthrew them.

Mr Hamdok signed an accord with the army live on TV and claimed: “The signing of this document opens the door wide enough to address all the challenges of the transitional period.” Sudanese military and civilian leaders both claim to be navigating a path to democracy following the revolution that toppled long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Government officials, speaking anonymously, said that UN and US go-betweens had played a “crucial role” in crafting an agreement between the army and various political parties, including Sudan’s largest, the Umma party, which will set up an “independent technocratic” government. They added that political prisoners would be released.

But the new government’s relations to the “Sovereign Council” now chaired by coup leader General Abdel-Fattah Burhan were unclear, while Sudanese communists have warned that a “technocratic” government will be a euphemism for one controlled by foreign “experts” like the IMF, and will lack democratic legitimacy.

The Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, an umbrella group of revolutionary organisations which spearheaded the 2019 uprising, said it rejected any “agreements with this brute junta and are employing all peaceful and creative methods to bring it down.”

It called for protests to be maintained and for the coup leaders to be brought to justice. Mass demonstrations have rocked Sudan ever since the putsch, with the army opening fire on protests just days ago, killing at least 15.

The Sudanese Communist Party said the deal left the army “dominant over the transitional authority” and said the agreement had been ordered by “the US Defence Secretary.”

Its political secretary Muhammad Mokhtar al-Khatib said: “The Communist Party is with the uprising and the masses of our people.”

He said the Sovereign Council would effectively control the civilian government under current arrangements, and attacked the civilian cabinet for refusing to dissolve the militias of the old regime as promised, instead rebranding troops like the notorious Janjaweed under new names.

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