The military leader in Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan says his new transitional government will welcome ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, should he change his mind to join it.
Al-Burhan told visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Moly Phee that the new Sovereign Council he created is not opposed to the return of Dr Hamdok to lead the civilian government.
In a statement issued to the media after a meeting with Ms Phee on Tuesday, Burhan blamed “foreign interference and certain political forces” for distorting the reasons behind the coup last month. He argued the military had adhered to the constitutional declaration, the guiding document for the transitional government which he ousted last month in a coup.
However, during a meeting in Khartoum, Burhan argued neither he nor the military will stick around beyond the formation of a proper civilian led government after the transition.
He also promised to have detained former members of the transitional cabinet, as well as Prime Minister Hamdok released from his house arrest as soon as possible.
It was Ms Phee’s first visit to the Horn of Africa since she took office, and hard particularly visited Khartoum to push for “restoration of Sudan’s democratic transition.”
During the Sunday evening meeting after her arrival, she engaged various stakeholders in the now dissolved transitional government of Hamdok. She also visited Hamdok at his home where he had been detained since the coup and spoke with ousted Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi “to show U.S. support for the civilian-led transitional government.”
The Liaison Committee of the Central Council for Freedom and Change said in a statement they had told Phee they will not negotiate with the military as long as it refused to re-establish the dissolved government under Hamdok.
After their meeting with Phee on Monday, the group which represents civil society groups that had been a part of a power sharing arrangement under Hamdok issued their wish list. They rejected and condemned the coup and the subsequent measures such as state of emergency, the formation of new Sovereign Council, and the arrest of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and some members of his government, political leaders, resistance committees and excessive violence against peaceful demonstrators and inside neighborhoods and homes.
Ms Phee said Washington was calling for the return to constitutional order as well as the return of the Prime Minister to his job to implement his duties in accordance with the constitutional declaration.
However, she concluded her trip without a tangible way forward on the implementation of actions promised by the leaders in charge. For example, Burhan offered to release the leaders but gave no hint on when he will do that. Phee was expected to join the entourage of Secretary of State Antony Blinken who arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday night. Blinken is expected to discuss Sudan and Ethiopia's situations with Kenyan leaders.