Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his resignation on Sunday evening amid political deadlock and widespread pro-democracy protests following a military coup that derailed the country’s fragile transition to democratic rule.
In his resignation speech diffused on state television, Hamdok called for a dialogue to agree on a “national charter” and to “draw a roadmap” to complete the transition.
“I have tried my best to stop the country from sliding towards disaster,” he said, addressing the nation.
“In view of the fragmentation of the political forces and conflicts between the military and civilian components of the transition… despite everything that has been done to reach a consensus… it has not happened”, he went on.
Sudan “is crossing a dangerous turning point that threatens its whole survival”, he added.
The October coup had upended Sudan’s plans to move to democracy after a popular uprising forced the military’s overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.
Prior to his resignation on Sunday, Sudanese security forces violently dispersed pro-democracy protesters, in the latest demonstrations to denounce the takeover and a subsequent deal that reinstated the prime minister but sidelined the pro-democracy movement.
A medical group said that at least two people were killed.
Hamdok, a former UN official seen as the civilian face of Sudan’s transitional government, was reinstated in November following the coup amid international pressure in a deal that calls for an independent technocratic Cabinet under military oversight led by him.
That deal, however, was rejected by the pro-democracy movement, which insists that power be handed over to a fully civilian government tasked with leading the transition.
Hamdok defended the November 21 deal with the military, saying that it was meant to preserve achievements his government made in the past two years, and to “protect our nation from sliding to a new international isolation”.