Home | News    Monday 30 November 2020

Sudan’s Premier rejects claims that he has no mandate to sign joint agreement with SPLM-N

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November 29, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said that the signing of the joint agreement on religion and the state with the leader of the SPLM-N of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu falls within his powers.

Abdallah Hamdok (ST photo)Earlier in November, the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N held a workshop in Juba on the relationship between religion and the state, in implementation of the joint agreement between Hamdok and Hilu in a meeting held in Addis Ababa on 3 October.

However, Chems al-Din Kabbashi the head of the negotiating team and member of the military component of the Sovereign Council rejected an agreement reached by the workshop. On 8 November, he stated that Hamdok has no mandate to sign the joint agreement.

On Sunday 29 November the Sudan TV aired an interview with the prime minister recorded on 25 November but delayed after delayed because of the death of the former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi.

Replying to Kabbashi, Hamdok said he has a full mandate to explore ways to achieve peace and to end the war in the country in accordance with the Transitional Constitutional Document.

"The revolution brought the Prime Minister, and his work is regulated by the Constitutional Document, which provides that the management of the peace process is carried out by the cabinet."

So, "We are ready for dialogue and discussion with all comrades on all issues without setting red lines and without determining for the other what he should believe in," he stressed.

Hamdok went further to say "What we did in Addis Ababa falls completely within the responsibilities of the prime minister in this file, and we are ready to go to anyone."

Also, he said he had been astonished when Khabbashi contested the legitimacy of his agreement with al-Hilu.

"Therefore, we are surprised at these claims (by Kabbashi when he described the joint agreement as) of Giving what one does not have to those who do not deserve".

Hamdok’s statements mark the first public disagreement between the prime minister and a member of the military on the peace process.

Kabbashi statements at the time were perceived in Khartoum as an attempt by the Sudanese general to describe Hamdok as a backer of the SPLM-N al-Hilu in its demand for the secular state.

The military officer is expected to reply to Hamdok in a TV interview with a private channel on Monday 30 November.

The prime minister, also, played down claims that the factions of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) would ally themselves with the military component of the Sovereign Council against the civilian political forces.

A new cabinet including ministers from the armed groups is expected to be appointed in the coming days as the peace agreement gives them 25% of the cabinet ministers and three members at the Sovereign Council.

Hamdok indicated that he opted to increase the ministerial portfolios to around 25 ministries and that some ministries such as trade and industry ministry will be divided into two positions.

(ST)

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