EXPLANATORY: What happens after the resignation of the Prime Minister of Sudan?


CAIRO – Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok’s resignation has plunged the country’s fragile democratic transition into turmoil.

The October 25 inauguration came more than two years after a popular uprising forced the ouster of autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government after nearly three decades in power.

Here’s a look at what’s happened and what’s next:


On October 25, the army dissolved the transitional government of Hamdok and the Sovereign Council, a power-sharing body of military and civilian officials that has ruled Sudan since late 2019.

The army arrested Hamdok and several other senior officials and political leaders.

Burhan came under increasing international pressure, with Western, Arab and African nations calling for a return to civilian rule. The United States suspended $ 700 million in aid because it strongly condemned the coup.

The army allowed Hamdok to return to his residence the next day, and the two sides finally reached an agreement in November that reinstated the prime minister but sidelined the pro-democracy movement.

Government officials and political leaders detained in the coup were also released as part of the November agreement.

Generals have described Hamdok’s reinstatement as a step towards stabilizing the country ahead of the election, and the international community has cautiously welcomed the deal and called for pre-coup agreements.

Hamdok has defended his agreement with the military, saying he maintained it primarily to prevent bloodshed and help return to a path of democratic transition.


At the time of the coup, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, the umbrella organization of the movement, were divided. Many organizations, including rebel groups that reached a peace deal with the transitional government in 2020, sided with the military.

Others, including the Sudanese Professional Association and the Resistance Committees, which were the backbone of protests against al-Bashir, rejected the deal to restore Hamdok and demanded the handover of power to civilians. Hamdok was accused of being used as a fig leaf to continue his military rule.

For weeks, Hamdok failed to bridge a growing gap between the generals and the pro-democracy movement. He was unable to form a cabinet amid relentless street protests denouncing not only the military’s takeover but also its dealings with the generals.

Nearly 60 protesters have been killed and hundreds more injured in the coup, according to a Sudanese medical group. The UN human rights bureau said it had received reports that at least 13 women and girls had been sexually abused, including rape or gang rape by security forces.

What’s next?

While the groups leading the street protests insist that power be handed over to a fully civilian government to lead the transition, the generals are unwilling to side with it.

Burhan has repeatedly said that the army would only hand over power to an elected government. This position is likely to prolong stagnation as the country faces economic and security challenges.

Volker Perthes, the UN envoy to Sudan, has urged citizens to engage in talks to find a way out of the crisis, saying the UN mission is ready to facilitate it.

The U.S. State Department also urged Sudanese leaders to “put aside differences, find consensus, and ensure continued civilian rule.” He called for the appointment of the next prime minister and cabinet “in accordance with the constitutional declaration (2019) to meet the goals of freedom, peace and justice of the people.”

Cameron Hudson, a former U.S. State Department official and Sudanese expert at the Central African Council of Central Africa, called on the international community to help shape what will come next in Sudan.

“It is time to deploy an international mediator who can do the job that Hamdok was unable to do: find a political compromise between the army, the street and the pro-democracy movement, to rewrite a roadmap to move forward.” , he said.

In his resignation speech, Hamdok urged dialogue that outlines a roadmap for completing the transition to democracy and said his resignation would give another person a chance to complete that transition. He warned that political stalemate could turn into a full-blown crisis and further damage the country’s already battered economy.

“Now our nation is going through a dangerous turning point that could threaten its full survival unless it is urgently rectified,” Hamdok said.