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U.S. Blinken supports Hamdok’s initiative for transition in Sudan

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Getty Images)June 27, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced his support to an initiative by the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok to address huge challenges facing the fragile democratic transition in the East African country.

Blinken spoke by telephone with the Hamdok on Sunday, five days after an initiative launched by the Sudanese premier calling for national unity to achieve the goals of transition in the country and to reform the military and security sector.

"The Secretary reaffirmed U.S. support for Prime Minister Hamdok and the Civilian-led Transitional Government, and they discussed the Prime Minister’s new initiative to enhance national unity and implement steps to create a legislative council, reform the Sudanese Armed Forces and integrate other forces into it as a professional army, and provide justice and accountability," reads a statement released in Washington after the telephone call.

In a statement released in Khartoum, Hamdok said he briefed Blinken about his initiative and the need for national consensus paving the way for a well-established democratic rule and sustainable peace.

Hamdok "emphasized that the unity of state institutions is one of the most important requirements of a modern democratic state," said the statement.

In his initiative, Hamdok called for the integration of the Rapid Support Forces in the national army together with the other former rebel groups, after pointing to the tensions between the regular army and militia force.

On 26 June, U.S. Senator Chris Coons expressed his support for Hamdok’s initiative to describing it as "a critical step in the fragile transition toward democracy in Sudan".

"I stand ready to continue to support the will of the Sudanese people and PM Hamdok to bridge these divides and make progress toward realizing the commitments enshrined in the Juba Peace Agreement, which will define the future of the country and its relationship with the world," he added.

The head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti dismissed "rumours" about differences between the army and RSF militia.

Several weeks before, Hemetti had publically rejected the integration of his 50,000 militiamen in the national army mentioning legislation passed by the former regime making it an independent entity under the command of the head of state.

Hamdok and Blinken also discussed regional crises, the implementation of Juba’s agreement for peace in Sudan, and Sudan’s commitment to normalizing relations with Israel.

(ST)

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