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Military participation should not obstruct Sudan’s removal from U.S. terror list: Hamdok

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok holds talks at the US Capitol in a landmark visit to Washington (AFP Photo/ JIM WATSON)
December 5, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok called on the United States to put aside their concerns about the participation of the military component in the transitional authority and to back Sudanese people through the removal of sanctions inherited from the ousted regime.

Hamdok made his call on Thursday at the Atlantic Council in Washington after meetings with U.S. officials on delisting his country from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST).

Sudanese officials say they felt doubts are still persisting in Washington about the viability of the Sudanese revolution and the regime change that has taken place in the country after the formation of a civilian government in September.

Hamdok took the opportunity of a public event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank, to deter these concerns and fears about the leadership structures in Sudan.

He said that the two components are working closely to achieve the tasks of the transitional government and the goals of the Sudanese revolution: freedom, peace and justice.

He further wondered that there were calls for the lift of sanctions on Sudan and the SST’s rescission even during the ousted totalitarian regime.

"The Atlantic Council started years back advocating for the delisting of Sudan from the SST. I do not know if that happened in a democratic environment? I was not".

"Let us understand and appreciate that the situation then was far worse than anything you could describe today. We are not saying it is perfect but it is a step in the right direction"

The Sudanese premier further called to back the transition in Sudan instead of refusing to work with it under the pretext that it includes military elements that were part of the former regime.

"The risk of not acting is far much than anything (else)", he stressed alluding to the chaos that might happen in Sudan and its effect in the region if Washington continues to weaken the civilian-led government and prevent it from bringing foreign investments or ban financial international institutions from clearing Sudan’s foreign debt.

He was hinting to the head of the Rapid Support Forces Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo whose forces are formed from the janjaweed militiamen that accused of killing civilians in Darfur, Two Areas, and recently in Khartoum during the attack on the pro-democracy sit-in.

During his six-day visit to Washington Hamdok’s delegation includes the minister of defence who held meetings with U.S. military officials.

Hamdok’s statements express the feeling of bitterness in Khartoum from Trump administration.

When asked about the reason behind the longevity of a meeting last week on the dismantling of the former regime and if the military were against it, Hamdok denied the claim and explained that the meeting was about many issues and lasted six-hour because of the discussions on the upcoming peace talks with the armed groups on 10 December.

He further called on the minister of justice Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari to explain to the public what exactly happened during the joint meeting on the dismantling of the Ingaz Regime.

Abdel Bari explained that the military welcomed the law and said they had been waiting for this law for a long time.

He further added they demanded a two-hour break to read it and came back with "very constructive proposals".

"So there was a constructive difference on how to improve it and have a good version," he stressed brushing aside allegations that the military component of the Sovereign Council had been opposed to the dissolution of the National Congress Party of the ousted regime.

Hamdok disclosed that he has a negotiating team in Washington that conducting talks with the American administration on the delisting process.

The direct and frank style that Hamdok adopted during the event shows an increase of confidence on the SST’s rescission as he used in the past to make law-profile statements.

The lifting process requires a formal review for over six months.

Last November, U.S. top diplomat for Africa Tibor Nagy said that the State Department is in the midst of the process without further details.

Hamdok reassured the victims of USS Cole and terrorist attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania as he said that the matter is tackled by Sudanese government team and an agreement would be reached on this respect.

It was purported that the US would help Khartoum to retrieve the money stolen by the dignitaries of the former regime and use it to pay the compensations of the victims.