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Amid Sudan's political deadlock, the prime minister announces his resignation


Sudan's prime minister resigned on Sunday, a little over a month after he was ousted in a coup by the country's military and then reinstated. It's the latest blow to the country's tentative but uneven transition to democracy from dictatorship that began three years ago. Joining us now from Sudan to discuss the latest is journalist Sanosi Adam. Sanosi, please tell us what happened yesterday. Why did Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok say he resigned?

SANOSI ADAM: Since he was reinstated, Abdalla Hamdok, after the coup on the 25 of October, he met a lot of challenges, which has been the Freedom and Change Coalition not supporting the deal that he signed with General al-Burhan and also the resistance committees that are calling to the streets every day, not supporting him as well, so he lost the streets and the Freedom and Change Coalition. And because of that, he realized that the best way for him to go is to resign and let somebody else deal with these issues.

MARTÍNEZ: Do you think that there might have been underestimation of the situation for all the back-and-forth so far?

ADAM: Absolutely. I think the reason he accepted the reinstatement and signed that deal, he was foreseeing that maybe by signing this deal, there would be - the military would not use force against protesters. He will try to reform the government the way it was meant to be, with a technocratic government that will run the country and lead it to the election. But the fact that no one backed that deal, nobody - not the street or the politicians who were forming the Freedom and Change Coalition backed up that deal. And then now he finally came to the realization that this is not working, and he submitted his resignation.

MARTÍNEZ: And, Sanosi, we're talking about a military that's clung to power for a long, long time, and the military doesn't seem to be willing to fully cede that power. That's one of the reasons, one of the main reasons, for the recent coup.

ADAM: Of course. I mean, the military, the RSF and the Sudanese military, this is for them - like, they needed to grab this power and stay on this - running this country as long as they can because, by not doing so, that means they're going to be facing charges on possibly indictment for crimes that their force has committed if the - the breaking of the sit-in, the first sit-in, and then the coup of the 25 of October and also all the people who were killed during the recent protests.

MARTÍNEZ: What's been the reaction there to his resignation? Have the situation on the streets gotten at least a little bit better or are demonstrations still continuing?

ADAM: Absolutely, the demonstrations are continuing. I spoke to a member of a resistance committee about this, and he said it's not relevant, Hamdok resigning or not. We're still - we're calling for a civilian-led government. We're calling for a complete transition to democracy in the country. And there've already been calls for a demonstration on the 1 of January, the 6 of January, the 7. So the streets are not done yet with this.

MARTÍNEZ: Any response from the military?

ADAM: So far, we don't see anything from the military. I think they're organizing house. There've been, you know, mass demonstrations all over the country. There's still some bridges that are still being blocked - the military on high alert in anticipation of a sudden riot on the streets. But so far, there's not been any official comment on the resignation or on the situation in the country.

MARTÍNEZ: That's journalist Sanosi Adam. Sanosi, thank you very much.

ADAM: Thank you. Thank you so much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.