Sudan PM Hamdok warns against cracks in army, calls for unity
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok says cracks in the military are "deeply worrying" as he called for reconciliation between civilians and factions of the military that are interested in the country's politics.
The PM, who took over after the military kicked out Omar al-Bashir in 2019, made the comments on Tuesday while announcing an initiative to bring together various factions in the country amid a fragile transition in the northern African nation.
For some time now, Sudan has been led by a civilian-military ruling administration since the sides reached a power-sharing deal the following August. The deal was manufactured by the African Union and other leading entities.
Nearly two years later, the transition continues to face pressing challenges including pressure from rebels and civilians to reform the military.
“All the challenges we are facing, in my view, are a manifestation of a deeper crisis that is primarily a political one,” Hamdok told journalists in Khartoum, the capital city of the troubled nation.
He faulted splits among the teams that pushed for the revolution that led to the ouster of al-Bashir, adding that fragmentation within the military was also “a deeply worrying issue.”
Hamdok said his initiative aimed to push for reforms to the military and ensure that armed groups, including the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), be integrated into the armed forces.
Sudanese media have repeatedly carried reports of tensions between the RSF and the Sudanese Armed Forces over the integration. Other points in Hamdok’s initiative include dismantling the remnants of al-Bashir’s regime, tackling the economic crisis, and forming a transitional legislative body.
In 2020, Hamdok’s government signed a landmark peace deal with rebel groups to end conflicts in several of the country’s border regions. Only two key groups refused to sign the deal.
Last week, talks were adjourned between Sudan and the powerful rebel faction of Sudan’s People Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu. Sudanese media reported that the integration of RSF into the armed forces was a key point of contention.
Hamdok’s latest remarks came amid growing popular discontent following recent economic reforms, which saw the government slashing subsidies for petrol and diesel. In recent days, Khartoum has seen a wave of violent crime and looting, as angry protesters blocked the streets with burning car tires.
The PM warned last week that the country might slip into chaos and further instability if the ruling political factions failed to work together. He has been steering processes geared towards improving the economic fortunes of the country.