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More Protests Expected in Sudan Despite Reinstatement of Prime Minister

NAIROBI, KENYA — Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been reinstated in a deal with the military, following weeks of unrest sparked by a coup. Despite the military promising to release all political prisoners, protesters have vowed to continue demonstrating for democracy.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok got his power back to continue with the country's political transition. He had been kept under house arrest since October 25 when the military overthrew his government and arrested some politicians.

Sulaima Al Khalifa, a human rights activist in Sudan, said the current deal did not change the situation on the ground.

“We did not expect it. It was a surprise and shock. We fear there is a lot of pressure happening, Hamdok is under pressure because it's not even logical and what he has done is not even logical according to the serious event that has happened. Because the violation of the rights of the people is still ongoing. Since 25th we don’t have a state,” she said.

On Sunday, a teenager was shot dead during a protest in the city of Omdurman according to a pro-democracy Sudanese doctors group. The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said 41 people have died so far since the coup.

Jonas Horner, a senior analyst on Sudan affairs at the International Crisis Group, said the prime minister will hold less power after Sunday’s political deal in Khartoum.

"Hamdok appears to have been returned to power under some duress. He has made of the calculation he would rather be inside the process that now appears to be solidly controlled by the military, by the coup-makers from October 25 rather than being outside. The military had relied on bringing Hamdok back in that had been their key strategic approach. Hamdok does bring the military government a level of credibility," said Horner.

Some people in Sudan see Hamdok as a political hero for standing up to the military before and after the coup.

Horner predicts that sentiment will change drastically in the streets and Hamdok will find himself in a difficult political position.

“He will find himself far less popular with the street and he will find himself very low in this power that he will need to turn this back around in the direction of constituencies on the streets that he really should be pushing for. The relationship between the military and the street will only get worse. The military has shown its cards, it's clearly not seeking to deliver on the transition that people had called for during Sudan’s revolution in 2018-2019,” said Horner.

In December 2018, Sudanese took to the streets demanding good governance and respect for the rule of law. The street protest eventually drove former president Omar al-Bashir out of power after 30 years in office.

Source: Voice of America