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Sudan PM accuses US of undermining democratic transition

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok holds a press conference at Khartoum International Airport in Khartoum, Sudan on December 08, 2019 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok holds a press conference at Khartoum International Airport in Khartoum, Sudan on December 08, 2019 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has accused the US of undermining the country’s democratic transition through its economic sanctions, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

In an interview with the paper, Hamdok said the US’ designation of Sudan as state sponsor of terrorism jeopardises its democratic transition.

Due to the US sanctions, Hamdok said: “We are isolated from the world.” He added that it was unjust to treat Sudan as a pariah state more than 20 years after it expelled Osama Bin Laden, and a year after it overthrew the regime that harboured him.

“Sudanese people have never been terrorists,” he said. “This was the deeds of the former regime” led by the ousted President Omar Al-Bashir.

READ: Sudan celebrates government, rebels peace deal

Regarding the normalisation of ties with Israel in return for lifting US sanctions, Hamdok said: “We would like to see these two tracks addressed separately. We believe we have ticked boxes for us to be removed.”

Hamdok expected that making peace with rebel groups would help relieve Sudan’s economy because this would also save money through reducing the budget of the army from 80 per cent to between 10 and 15 per cent as Sudan is no longer a “war economy”.

The Financial Times reported Hamdok saying that he had discussed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) the possibility of it trying Al-Bashir, possibly in a “hybrid court” in Sudan.

He stressed that the best option was to reform the Sudanese judiciary so that it could prosecute the ousted president itself.

The ICC has accused Al-Bashir, who is being sued in Khartoum over the 1989 coup which made him president, of genocide in relation to the conflict in Darfur in the 2000s.

READ: Protest leader says normalising ties with Israel will not pay off Sudan’s debts 

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