Who is Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok?

Mr Hamdok was instrumental in the country being delisted as a 'state sponsor of terrorism'

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At the head of a transitional government since August 2019, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been instrumental in a number of breakthroughs in the country's recent history, following a popular uprising against the decades-long rule of former dictator Omar Al Bashir in April 2019.

Mr Hamdok's achievements include securing Sudan's removal from the US state sponsors of terrorism list, a first step towards receiving much needed financial aid and improving Sudan's international status.

On Monday, Sudan's military arrested Mr Hamdok and other members of his civilian-led government, which was formed following the uprising that ended Bashir's 30 years of Islamist rule.

Until his arrest, Mr Hamdok's extensive background in finance and connections proved effective in alleviating the country's economic woes, although major issues such as a lack of basic necessities, including fuel and bread, remain.

Despite this, Mr Hamdok retains popularity among civilian opposition groups, including the Forces for Freedom and Change and the Sudanese Professionals' Association, which were both key groups in the 2019 revolution.

Who is Abdalla Hamdok?

Born in 1956, Mr Hamdok, served as an official in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in his 30s before working in the private sector with one of the 'Big Four' auditing companies, Deloitte & Touche.

He then rose in seniority and held several positions in the International Labour Organisation and the African Development Fund, as well as the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

He was sworn in as Sudan's 15th prime minister on August 21, 2019, after the military coup that toppled Bashir, to lead a transitional civilian and military-led government.

Under his rule, the Juba Peace Agreement was signed on October 3, 2020 to effectively end a decades-long conflict between the government and rebel groups in the south of Sudan.

Why was he arrested?

Although specifics about his arrest, including his whereabouts, remain unknown, Mr Hamdok had reportedly refused to support a military coup against the transitional government's ruling Sovereign Council.

Instead, he and other groups called on the Sudanese public to hold their ground and "resist" military intervention, the Ministry of Information said.

A statement from Mr Hamdok's office on Facebook said that the Prime Minister and his wife were "kidnapped at dawn", adding that the military takeover is akin to "tearing up the constitution."

The office held the military responsible for Mr Hamdok's wellbeing and safety and repeated calls for the public to protest peacefully to "retrieve the revolution from its abductors".

Opposition groups continued to organise protests as demonstrators flooded the streets of the capital, Khartoum, setting tyres alight and blocking roads.

Following Monday's events, internet connectivity monitor NetBlocks confirmed "significant disruption" in Sudan's internet services, affecting major telecommunication providers, in an apparent attempt to prevent public gatherings from growing.

A military takeover would "contravene the Constitutional Declaration and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people," Jeffrey Feltman, US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, said in a post on Twitter, calling the move "utterly unacceptable".

Updated: October 26th 2021, 7:02 AM
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