Sudan military to reinstate PM Hamdok after deal – Umma Party head

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KHARTOUM, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Sudan’s military plans to reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and release all political detainees under a deal to end weeks of unrest, the head of one of the country’s main political parties told Reuters on Sunday.

Hamdok was placed under house arrest when the military seized power on Oct. 25, derailing a transition towards democracy agreed after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019 that ended his three decades of autocratic rule.

The military dissolved Hamdok’s cabinet and detained a number of civilians who held top positions under the power-sharing deal agreed with the military after Bashir was ousted.

Under the new agreement between the military and civilian political parties, Hamdok will form an independent cabinet of technocrats, said Fadlallah Burma Nasir, head of the Umma Party who attended the talks that led to the deal.

Sudan’s Sovereign Council, which was formed in 2019, will hold an urgent meeting on Sunday before announcing the agreement, a source with knowledge of the talks said.

A source close to Hamdok said he was on board with the new deal.

The media adviser of military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan could not immediately be reached for comment.

Activist groups leading protests since the coup have demanded the military exit politics altogether, however.

A statement on Sunday on the Facebook page of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) civilian coalition that had been sharing power with the military said it did not recognise any political agreement with the armed forces.

Following the coup, Hamdok had demanded the release of all political detainees and a return to power-sharing as a precondition for negotiating, according to sources close to him.

The coup triggered a campaign of mass demonstrations against the military and activists have called for more protests on Sunday.

Western powers that had backed Sudan’s political transition condemned the takeover and suspended some economic assistance to Sudan.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Michael Georgy; Editing by Aidan Lewis, Christopher Cushing, William Mallard and David Clarke)

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