Sudan: Hamdok - Priority Is for Peace, Economic Crisis and Living Conditions

Economist Abdalla Hamdok has been sworn in as Sudan's new prime minister.
21 August 2019

The newly sworn in Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok, said he would be pragmatic in dealing with east and west, give priority to peace realization, resolving economic crisis and improving the living conditions of the Sudanese people.

"My priority number one is to stop the war and end the suffering of our people in the refugees and internally displaced persons camps" he said in a briefing to the media shortly after his swearing in as Prime minister.

Dr Hamdok arrived in Khartoum evening Wednesday from Ethiopia and was given a huge popular reception at Khartoum airport, mostly the youth from the forces for Freedom and Change.

"It is true that I have been nominated by the Force for Freedom and Change, but having sworn in, I might safely say am now the prime minister for all the Sudanese" he said.

He said another first priority is also how to redress the economic crisis the country is currently witnessing including provision of basic services and also restoring trust in the banking system which has almost collapsed.

He said he would deal pragmatically and carefully with all camps as this is the best way in today's world so as to serve Sudan's interests. He stressed however that most of the burden of the tasks lay with the Sudanese people and how they would increase productivity and how the productive sectors would stand up.

He said a number of "practical programmes" would be put in place to redress the economic challenges Sudan is facing and to help ordinary Sudanese obtain basic services.

"We do not have a magic stick, but working together and in consensus we as Sudanese will be able to overcome these challenges" he stressed. He said the media would play a major role in this respect, marketing both difficult and pleasant programmes that he would be implementing in the country.

He said the cabinet would be sworn in next week to shoulder the burden with him.

The economic expert at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was picked up by the Forces for Freedom and Change to serve as a prime minister during the interim period.

Hamdok had a few months ago turned down an offer by overthrown president Bashir, to come and serve as Finance Minister for the country at a time reports of corruption and nepotism were the norm.

He had however said he would be happy to serve his country in any other way possible and was ready to reply to the national call, a clear message e that would like to take the job but not under Omar Bashir.

"Am very happy to come home today in response to the call by our people, so that we can work together and move our country to better horizons ... together we can do it" Hamdok told the press at Khartoum airport before heading to the Republican Palace where he was sworn-in in the presence of members of the new Sovereign Council, the chief justice and the President of the Council.

The East African development authority IGAD has meanwhile urged the world community to stand by the Sudan overcomes its current economic and political challenges towards a transition to full-fledged civil government.

A press release said the Executive Secretary of Inter-government authority for Development "IGAD" Mahboub Maalim has dispatched a message of congratulations to the people of Sudan on the historic signing of the power sharing constitutional decree on 17 August 2019 in Khartoum.

The IGAD official has also "warmly" welcomed the appointment of H.E. Abdallah Hamdok as Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Sudan.

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