The United States and three other countries voiced encouragement Thursday over a political deal to reinstate Abdalla Hamdok as Sudan’s prime minister.
Sudanese military leaders struck a deal with civilian political forces on November 21 to return Hamdok to power after he was deposed in an October 25 military coup and spent nearly four weeks under house arrest.
The deal empowers Hamdok to lead a government during a political transition expected to last until 2023 while sharing power with the military.
Members of major political parties and Sudan’s influential protest movement have opposed the agreement, with some calling it a betrayal.
The November deal is meant to be based on an earlier agreement reached between the military and civilian political forces after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, when they had agreed to share power until elections.
The agreement sparked massive street protests in Khartoum and other cities days after it was reached. As of late November, at least 40 unarmed protesters had been killed by excessive force used by the country’s security forces during nationwide protests since the coup, according to Amnesty International, which attributed the death toll to the Sudanese Doctors Committee.
“We urge signatories to live up to the commitments made in the political agreement,” the U.S., Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Britain said in a joint statement. “In this respect we note with appreciation the recent releases of political detainees, and the establishment of a committee of investigation to ensure that those responsible for violence against protestors are held accountable.
The military coup occurred after weeks of escalating tensions between military and civilian leaders over Sudan’s transition to democracy.
The coup has threatened to derail the process that began after the ouster of longtime autocrat Bashir in a popular uprising in 2019.