Wednesday, October 27, 2021

US secretary of state speaks with Sudan’s ousted premier

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke late Tuesday with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after he was released from army custody, said the State Department.

In a statement, spokesman Ned Price said Blinken welcomed Hamdok's release and reiterated his call on Sudanese military forces to free all civilian leaders in detention and to ensure their safety.

"He also expressed his deep concern about the ongoing military takeover and repeated the imperative for military forces to use restraint and avoid violence in responding to demonstrators," said Price.

Deposed by the military, Hamdok was taken back to his home in the capital Khartoum’s Kafouri neighborhood, with his residence under heavy military security, according to the Alsudani news portal.

Hamdok was reportedly earlier held at the home of the head of Sudan’s ruling military council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

"The secretary emphasized U.S. support for the civilian-led transition to democracy and for a return to the principles of Sudan’s transitional framework, as laid out in the 2019 Constitutional Declaration and the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement," said Price.

"He noted the growing chorus of international voices condemning the military takeover and supporting the calls by the Sudanese people for civilian leadership, democracy and peace," he added.

Hamdok and a number of ministers in his civilian government were detained by the Sudanese military on Monday.

Al-Burhan on Monday announced a state of emergency, dissolved the transitional sovereign council and the government and suspended some provisions of the constitutional document outlining the political transition in Sudan.

After a failed military coup last month, deep tensions erupted between the military and the civilian administration in Sudan following rival protests in Khartoum.

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