By SAMY MAGDY
CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s deposed prime minister signed a deal with the military on Sunday that will see him reinstated, almost a month after a military coup put him under house arrest. According to the deal, the military will also release government officials and politicians arrested since the Oct. 25 coup.
The country’s top general, Abdel Fattah Burhan, said in televised statements that Abdalla Hamdok will lead an independent technocratic Cabinet until elections can be held. It remains unclear how much power the government would hold. It would still remain under military oversight.
It also remains unclear whether all political parties and pro-democracy groups have signed off on the agreement.
The coup, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government, has drawn international criticism.
“The signing of this deal opens the door wide enough to address all the challenges of the transitional period,” said Hamdok, speaking at the signing ceremony broadcast on state TV.
Sudanese have been taking to the streets in masses since the military takeover, which upended the country’s fragile transition to democracy. The agreement comes just days after doctors said at least 15 people were killed by live fire during anti-coup demonstrations. Hamdok has been held under house arrest by military leaders for weeks.
The deal also stipulates that an investigation shall be conducted to identify those responsible for the killing and injuring of civilians and troops that marred protests following the coup.
“By signing this declaration, we could lay a genuine foundation to the transitional period,” said Burhan.
The 14-clause deal also stressed that power should be handed over to an elected civilian government after the end of the transitional period.
Earlier, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, the group that spearheaded the uprising that culminated in Bashir’s ouster, objected to any deals with the military.
In a statement Sunday, the group reiterated its opposition to any new political partnership with the military, insisting the perpetrators of the coup should be brought to justice.
“We are not concerned with any agreements with this brute junta and we are employing all peaceful and creative methods to bring it down,” the statement said.
The largest of the political parties said to be included in the deal, the Umma Party, had also issued a statement implying that it did not sign off on it.
Thousands had taken to the streets in the capital of Khartoum on Sunday, shortly before the signing ceremony, to denounce the coup and demand the immediate transfer of power to civilians. Protesters waved the Sudanese flag and chanted “Power is to the people! The military are to stay in the barracks.”
Also earlier, military and government officials who spoke of the deal on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information, said that the U.N., the U.S. and others had played “crucial roles” in crafting the agreement.
The United States, its allies and the United Nations have condemned the use of excessive force against anti-coup protesters.
Hamdok thanked Sudan’s “regional and global friends” who helped in reaching this agreement but he did not name the countries.
Associated Press writer Noha ElHennawy in Cairo contributed.
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