Sudan’s deposed prime minister and the top general who ousted him a month ago on Sunday signed a breakthrough deal to reverse the military takeover, but protests continued and a teenager was killed.
Thousands of demonstrators in multiple rallies rejected the deal, shouting: “No to military power” and demanding that the armed forces fully withdraw from government.
A 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman, medics said, bringing the overall death toll since last month’s coup to 41.
Several other people had gunshot wounds after clashes with security forces, the medics added.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan appeared at the presidential palace in Khartoum for a televised ceremony with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, looking haggard after emerging from weeks of house arrest.
The 14-point deal they signed officially restores the transition to civilian rule that had been derailed by the Oct. 25 putsch in the African country.
The agreement, which comes after crisis talks involving Sudanese, UN, African and Western players, stated that al-Burhan’s decision “to relieve the transitional prime minister [of his duties] is canceled.”
It said all political detainees would be freed, and formally relaunched the fragile transition process toward full democracy that started after the 2019 ouster of former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.
Hamdok praised the people power “revolution” that brought him to government and said that the top priority now was to “stop the bloodshed in Sudan before anything else.”
“We leave the choice of who rules Sudan to its mighty people,” he said.
Al-Burhan thanked Hamdok for his service, vowing that “free and transparent elections” would be held as part of the transition process.
“He was patient with us until we reached this moment,” al-Burhan said before posing for photographs with the reinstated prime minister and his own deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
The deal was welcomed by the African Union, the UN, the US and Sweden, as well as Saudi Arabia and Egypt which have strong ties with the Sudanese military.
The African Union said it was “an important step towards the return to constitutional order.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter that he was “encouraged” by the talks, while also calling for “security forces to refrain from excessive force against peaceful protesters.”
The UN stressed the “need to protect the constitutional order to safeguard the basic freedoms of political action, freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.”
Norway, which has been involved in crisis talks since the coup, also called for “concrete confidence-building measures.”
However, thousands rallied again in Khartoum and across Sudan on Sunday, and were confronted in the capital by security forces who fired tear gas.
Police deny firing live ammunition and said they have used “minimum force” to disperse the protests.
They have recorded only one death among demonstrators, in northern Khartoum.
The main civilian bloc which spearheaded the anti-al-Bashir protests and signed the 2019 power-sharing deal with the military rejected Sunday’s agreement.
“We affirm our clear and previously declared position that there is no negotiation, no partnership, no legitimacy for the coup,” said the mainstream faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, an umbrella of unions instrumental in bringing down al-Bashir, described the agreement as “political suicide” for Hamdok.
At one north Khartoum rally, protesters also chanted anti-Hamdok slogans and ripped up his portrait.
“Hamdok is weak, but the streets are powerful,” they shouted.
“Hamdok has truly let down the people,” protester Mohamed Abdelnabi said. “This deal doesn’t represent the Sudanese people.”
Thousands also rallied in Omdurman, as well as in the eastern state of Kassala, the restive eastern coastal city of Port Sudan and the northern city of Atbara, witnesses said.
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