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Sudan's ousted PM demands reinstatement of government amid international mediation

Sudan's then-Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok addresses people at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum, Sudan, on December 25, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Sudan's ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has demanded the full reinstatement of his government as a solution to end the crisis in the country following a coup, days after the putsch's mastermind offered him a chance to return to power and amid international mediation between the sides.

During a meeting with the ambassadors of the US, the UK, and Norway at his home on Monday, the ousted prime minister "insisted on the legitimacy of his government and transitional institutions," said Sudan's Information Ministry, which remains loyal to Hamdok.

Last week, Sudan's top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan dissolved the cabinet and the ruling military-civilian sovereign council. He also declared a state of emergency and put Hamdok under an effective house arrest, while detaining other leading members of his government. According to Kamal al-Gizouli, a Sudanese lawyer representing the detained leaders, the officials' whereabouts and conditions remain unknown.

On Thursday, Burhan said he had offered Hamdok a second chance to run a government.

Hamdok said, "The release of cabinet ministers and the full reinstatement of the government could pave the way to a solution," demanding that the situation in Sudan be returned to the pre-coup period.

Meanwhile, national and international mediation efforts are in progress to find possible solutions for the country's political crisis, said Volker Perthes, the United Nations (UN)'s envoy to Khartoum.

Speaking via video conference on Monday, Perthes told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York that, "Many of the interlocutors we are speaking with in Khartoum, but also internationally and regionally, are expressing a strong desire that we move forward quickly to get out of the crisis and return to the steps of normalcy."

Perthes also said the UN was supporting a couple of mediation efforts by a host of actors, "proposing initiatives and ideas, and coordinating with some of these mediators."

However, he said he could not speak about the demands, conditions, or positions of Hamdok and Burhan, with the mediators shuttling between the sides. He stressed that negotiations could only be held between "people who are at liberty."

Burhan had chaired the sovereign council since 2019, working together with Hamdok's government under a power-sharing deal that outlined a transition after the ouster of longtime President Omar al-Bashir. That deal was strained, however, as divisions widened between the civilian and the military rulers.

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