After Hamdok’s resignation.. Al-Burhan discusses forming an independent government, and the United Nations pushes to facilitate comprehensive dialogue
Military sources told Al Jazeera that the President of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, gave an explanation to high military ranks regarding the formation of an independent caretaker government, after Abdullah Hamdok resigned from his post yesterday due to the failure to reach a political consensus in the country.
According to the sources, the explanation came with the formation of a committee to consider forming a caretaker government urgently, and the committee will be headed by a member of the Sovereign Council, Lieutenant-General Yasser Al-Atta, and the membership of the council member is Malik Agar.
She added that it was also agreed on the need to find solutions to deal with the demonstrations without closing bridges and cutting off Internet and telephone services, provided that the current plans remain in force if alternative and safe plans are not reached that prevent the protesters from reaching the presidential palace.
The sources confirmed that Al-Burhan expressed his displeasure over the deaths in the demonstrations, noting that the deaths were the responsibility of the authorities, even if a third party was involved.
Al-Burhan stressed that the armed forces are the safety valve of the homeland, and they will remain cohesive, guarding its soil and security, and will protect the democratic transition, leading to free and fair elections that satisfy the aspirations of all Sudanese.
In the context, an informed source told Al Jazeera that the resigned Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdullah Hamdok, handed his resignation to the Sovereignty Council, which will discuss it in an emergency meeting.
The source indicated that the meeting of the Sovereign Council, headed by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, will also discuss accepting the resignation of the member of the Sovereign Council, Abdel-Baqi Abdel Qader Al-Zubair, and looking for measures for the transitional phase after Hamdok’s resignation.
Hamdok had announced – late yesterday evening, Sunday – his resignation from his position, after his recent efforts and meetings with various political segments and components failed to reach a political consensus to avoid the country sliding towards what he described as chaos and instability.
The army commander, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, had dismissed and arrested Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and members of his government on October 25, but he returned him to his position without his government following international and local pressures under a political agreement signed last November 21. Hamdok was supposed to form a new government, but he was unable to do so.
Hours before the prime minister announced his resignation, the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and other cities witnessed confrontations between demonstrators and police forces, which left various deaths and injuries.
The State Department has called on Sudanese leaders to set aside their differences and reach consensus, while ensuring continued civilian rule. The US State Department also stressed the need to appoint a prime minister and a government, in line with the constitutional document to achieve the people’s goals of freedom, peace and justice.
As for the British Minister for Africa, Vicki Ford, she expressed her sadness at Hamdok’s decision to resign, calling on the Sudanese political and security forces to respect the people’s demands, as she put it.
In France, a foreign ministry spokesman stressed his country’s emphasis on the need to continue what he described as the crucial reforms that have been launched in Sudan, praising what his country has done to support the democratic transition in it, as he put it.
The spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry affirmed Paris’ adherence to respecting the principles contained in the constitutional document in August 2019, and its call for the re-establishment of transitional institutions that represent the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people.
The spokesman added that appointing a representative and credible government is the way to meet the aspirations of the Sudanese and calm the political climate, and to enable Sudan to organize elections in 2023.
The spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry concluded his statement by stressing his country’s call to respect the rights of the Sudanese to peacefully express their opinions, without fear of violence or reprisals.
Volker Peretz, head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Support Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), also expressed – in a statement – his concern about the political crisis that occurred after October 25.
Peretz said: The aspirations of the Sudanese people for a democratic path and the completion of the peace process must be the cornerstone of all efforts to resolve the current crisis.
He added: The mistrust between the Sudanese parties must be overcome through a meaningful and comprehensive dialogue, and UNITAMS is ready to facilitate this process.
However, we respect this decision and commend the achievements made under Hamdok’s leadership, as well as the important achievements he achieved during the first phase of the transitional period.
Peretz urged Sudanese security forces to abide by their obligations under international law, to strictly adhere to the rights of protesters to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and to bring perpetrators of violence to justice.
On the Arab level, the “Arab Council” announced its support for the demands of the democratic forces in Sudan for a purely civilian authority in the country.
This came in a statement to the (non-governmental) council, headed by former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, and bringing together several Arab personalities, the day after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation.
He added: The struggle of the Sudanese people continues in order to overthrow the coup and build a state of law and institutions, a goal that can only be achieved by the military’s abandonment of power and the subordination of the military institution to the authority of the people, represented by civilian leaders who come and go through free and fair elections.