The ousted Sudanese prime minister signed an agreement with the military on Sunday to reinstate him, almost a month after a military coup placed him under house arrest. Under the deal, the military will also release government officials and politicians arrested following the October 25 coup.
The country’s top general, Abdel Fattah Burkhan, said in televised statements that Abdullah Hamdok will head an independent technocratic cabinet before the elections. It remains unclear how much power the government will have. It will remain under military surveillance as before.
It also remains unclear whether all political parties and pro-democracy groups have signed the agreement.
The coup, more than two years after a popular uprising led to the overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government, has drawn international criticism.
“The signing of this deal opens up quite broad opportunities for solving all the problems of the transition period,” Hamdock said at the signing ceremony broadcast on state television.
Sudanese are taking to the streets in droves following the military coup that upended the country’s fragile transition to democracy. The agreement was signed days after doctors said at least 15 people had been killed by live fire during demonstrations against the coup. Hamdock has been under house arrest by military leaders for several weeks.
The deal also stipulates that an investigation will be conducted to identify those responsible for the killings and injuries of civilians and military personnel who have marred the post-coup protests.
“By signing this declaration, we could lay the true foundation for the transition period,” Burkhan said.
The 14-point deal also emphasizes that power should be transferred to an elected civilian government after the end of the transition.
Previously, Forces for a Declaration of Freedom and Change, the group that led the uprising that culminated in the expulsion of Bashir, objected to any dealings with the military.
In a statement on Sunday, the group reiterated its opposition to any new political partnerships with the military, insisting that those responsible for the coup be held accountable.
“We are not interested in any agreements with this brutal junta, and we are using all peaceful and creative methods to overthrow it,” the statement said.
The largest of the political parties reportedly included in the deal, the Ummah party also issued a statement implying that it had not signed it.
Thousands took to the streets of the capital Khartoum on Sunday, shortly before the signing ceremony, to condemn the coup and demand the immediate transfer of power to the civilian population. The protesters waved the Sudanese flag and chanted “Power to the people! The military will remain in the barracks. “
Also earlier, military and government officials, who spoke of the deal on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information, said the UN, the US and others played a “decisive role” in drafting the agreement.
The United States, its allies and the United Nations condemned the use of excessive force against coup protesters.
Hamdock thanked Sudan’s “regional and global friends” for helping to reach this agreement, but did not name any countries.