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Sudanese year under pressure – prisoners released

Protests continued in Khartoum, Sudan, against the military coup.
Protests continued in Khartoum, Sudan, against the military coup.

And the US Secretary of State, in a phone call, demanded the Sudanese army chief to return to civilian rule after the military coup that took place last week, which was condemned by the outside world and sparked chaos in the country.

Sudan’s army chief, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced the release of four civilian ministers detained since the military coup in October.

They are Minister of Communications Hashem Hasab al-Rasoul, Minister of Commerce Ali Gedo, Minister of Information Hamza Balloul, and Minister of Youth and Sports Youssef Adam.

A conversation with Blinkin

The decision came shortly after Al-Burhan spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called on him to restore democratic rule.

A UN spokesman said, “The Secretary-General reiterated his call for the release of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilians arbitrarily detained in Sudan.”

Al-Burhan also spoke with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who pressed him to release all political prisoners and return to civilian rule.

On Wednesday, the general met an envoy from the African Union, whose membership of Sudan was suspended after the coup, and then promised to form a government of technocrats.

The army, under increasing pressure from the outside world, says it is now considering “all internal and external initiatives” that could serve the country.

Agree on the framework

The coup took place on October 25 in the middle of a compromise-like transition period. So far, military and civilian parties have shared power with the stated goal of Sudan becoming a democratic country in the future.

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The United Nations special envoy for the country, Volker Perthes, said in an interview with Reuters that the talks between the leaders of the military coup and the civilian parties resulted in some kind of framework for moving forward.

It is again a question of a division of power between the military and the civilian parties. What is on the table, among other things, is the reinstatement of ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and the lifting of the state of emergency in the country.