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Sudan’s Hamdok to review appointments made by military

Thu, 25 Nov 2021   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Khalid Abdelaziz

KHARTOUM (Reuters) -Appointments and dismissals made since a military takeover in Sudan last month will be reviewed and political detainees will be freed over the next two days, reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Wednesday.

After seizing power on Oct. 25, Sudan’s military rulers drew on veteran ex-officials of toppled leader Omar al-Bashir regime for important positions in the state bureaucracy.

Hamdok, who was placed under house arrest during the coup then brought back under a deal with the military reached on Sunday, issued a directive to freeze all hiring and dismissals in state jobs.

“In addition, all the appointments and dismissals that have taken place in the previous period will be placed under study, evaluation and review,” the cabinet secretariat said in a statement.

Hamdok said top civilian officials including ministers who had been sharing power with the military and were arrested during the coup would be released, as agreed under Sunday’s deal.

“The political detainees will be released soon, today or tomorrow,” Hamdok said during a televised debate. His office said he had ordered the release of all detained members of “resistance committees” that have been organising the protests, starting on Wednesday.

Hamdok is due to name a cabinet of technocrats under his deal with the military, but faces a challenge winning support from civilian groups and persuading them he can act independently from the security forces.

Sudan’s pro-democracy movement, which is planning more rallies on Thursday, has stated its opposition to the deal, as have political parties that had been sharing power with the military before the coup.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition denied on Wednesday that its leadership was represented in a meeting reported by Hamdok’s office the previous evening to discuss next steps.

“The (FFC) central council repeats its position rejecting negotiation and participation with the putschists,” the alliance said in a statement, calling on people to escalate peaceful resistance against the military leadership.

Hamdok said he had met security services to make sure that the right to peaceful protest would be guaranteed. “As long as I am prime minister I will protect the executive from interference from any side, and if I can’t, I will go,” he said.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Philippa Fletcher, Alex Richardson and Mark Heinrich)

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