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Hamdok resigned as prime minister; the US called for civilian administration in Sudan

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Following Abdalla Hamdok’s resignation as prime minister, the US has urged Sudanese officials to maintain civilian government and halt violence against demonstrators, further complicating the transition to elections. “After PM Hamdok’s resignation, Sudanese leaders should set aside differences, find consensus, and ensure continued civilian rule,” the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs said in a tweet. Hamdok, a noted economist and former UN official, had served as Prime Minister in a military-civilian power-sharing agreement that followed the removal of previous President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. In a coup in October, the military dismissed his government, but he returned a month later under a pact that charged him with creating a technocratic government ahead of elections in 2023.

After failing to reach an agreement to move the transition forward, Hamdok announced his resignation on Sunday. He urged dialogue in order to secure a new transition deal. On social media in Sudan, reactions were mixed, with some mourning the loss of a leader who was praised for his wisdom. Others, still enraged at Hamdok’s reappearance after the coup, declared their determination to end military authority.

Jibril Ibrahim, a former rebel leader who served as Hamdok’s finance minister but showed sympathy for the military prior to the coup, described his resignation as “regrettable.” “Our nation needs political compromise today more than ever to navigate safely through these turbulent times. There is room to accommodate everyone.” Hamdok’s resignation occurred just hours after the latest round of anti-military protests. According to medics affiliated with the protest movement, at least 57 individuals have been murdered as security forces have attempted to limit or disperse rallies since the October 25 coup. On Tuesday, there will be more protests.

With Western support, Hamdok had been a vital partner for the international community as Sudan sought to emerge from decades of isolation and sanctions imposed by Bashir, as well as to end an economic catastrophe. Any new appointees, according to the US State Department, should adhere to the power-sharing agreement reached in 2019.