Thousands have taken to the streets in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to renew their demand for a civilian government
The protest came after the military signed a new power-sharing agreement with the prime minister, after releasing him from house arrest and reinstating him as head of government. The deal comes nearly a month after the generals hatched a plan to oust Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and detain dozens of politicians and activists.
Hamdok’s reinstatement was the biggest concession made by the military since the October 25 coup, but jeopardizes the country’s transition to democracy. Sudan’s major pro-democracy groups and political parties have rejected the agreement as meeting their demands for full-fledged civilian rule.
Sudan has been battling its transition to a democratic government since the overthrow of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019 after a massive insurgency against three decades of his rule.
Protesters marched through Khartoum on Thursday, beating drums and waving Sudanese flags. Many chanted the slogans: “The people want to topple the regime” and “Woe to the army!”
The Sudanese Professionals Association, the group that led the uprising that culminated in the ouster of al-Bashir, called for rallies and vowed to “bring down the corrupt military junta and continue the protests until they are prosecuted for their crimes.” “
The agreement Hamdok signed with the military on Sunday envisions an independent, technical cabinet headed by the prime minister until new elections are held. However, the government would still remain under military surveillance, although Hamdok claimed that it would have the power to appoint ministers.
The agreement angered Sudan’s pro-democracy movement, which accused Hamdok of allowing himself to serve as a fig leaf to continued military rule.
The deal also stipulates that all political prisoners arrested after the October 25 coup would be released. So far many ministers and politicians have been released. The number of people still taken into custody is unknown.
On Wednesday, Hamdok told a local Sudanese television channel that unless everyone was released, “the deal would be worthless.”
Since the coup, protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in one of the biggest demonstrations that ended al-Bashir’s regime. According to activist groups, Sudanese security forces have killed more than 40 protesters.