Sudan's PM resigns following mass protests

Photo: Move2Turkey

On January 3rd the Sudanese prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, who was reinstated under a new peace agreement with the head of the army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, at end of November, resigned following an escalation of nationwide protests.

In his address to the nation, Mr. Hamdok declared he was resigning, given his failure to mediate between civilian and military officials and ensure a peaceful democratic transition. Protests have been raging across the country and particularly in the capital, Khartoum since a military coup in October and the signing of the Hamdok-Burhan peace agreement.

The agreement remains to face opposition from pro-democracy protests, who were at the forefront of the uprising that toppled the long-serving dictator, Omar al-Bashir, 2019, and who once saw Mr. Hamdok as a symbol of resistance to military rule.

Skeptics of the pact view it to affirm and legitimize the role of the military in government. Therefore, relentless demonstrations against the deal have left social tensions high.

Even though the international community welcomed Mr. Hamdok’s reinstatement following the coup, it did little to pacify the public. To prevent a rapid descent into chaos, on January 10th the UN offered to mediate between the military, rebel groups, political groups ousted by the coup and denied negotiating with the army.

Meanwhile, the protests continue to grow in Khartoum, and the security forces have restored the use of tear gas and ammunition. About 60 people have been killed since October. This has deepened public antipathy for the army and hardened demands for a complete civilian government.

However, there is no clarity about who is going to be the next civilian prime minister. General Burhan is under pressure from hardliners within the country’s powerful security apparatus to back down, and the political deadlock will persist in the near term.

Sudan’s deepening political crisis spells disaster for the key economic gains made in 2020-21, which is likely to be reversed, owing to widespread disruption. The prospect of fresh international sanctions is ever more likely if the military pushes ahead with repressive methods.

Protests are still expected to be nationwide and clashes between demonstrators and the security forces will persist.

Our forecast of increased social unrest and political instability remains unchanged. Sustained economic disruption and political instability will limit real GDP growth to 2% in 2022. Our economic forecasts remain unchanged.

Publish : 2022-01-12 21:16:00

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