Sudan: Machar now agrees to withdraw resignation from position

By Suliman Fattah in Khartoum

Expand Sudanese state minister for media affairs Mohamed Atika-Bashir

By General Hassan Hussein Mahjoub

Sudanese military chief of staff and ousted prime minister Riek Machar agrees with President al-Bashir and is ready to resign from his post.

The Ministry of Information says Hassan Hussein Mahjoub agreed to withdraw his resignation and will return to his position to restore democratic transition and his participation in forming the next government.

It follows the agreement reached between President al-Bashir and Machar at the request of President to reverse his order to sack his prime minister Riek Machar.

The statement released by the Ministry of Information on Saturday said all political prisoners will be released.

“Sudanese held in the military forces, prison system and other detention centres will be released with immediate effect,” said the statement.

Sudan’s 27 parties – all of which were part of the National Congress Party – the umbrella party for the ruling National Congress Party – had signalled their total support for President al-Bashir.

They call on the army, the police and the National Intelligence and Security Service to give the go-ahead to the prime minister of the NCP to form a new government, which is then free to lead the country.

Following the election of his new prime minister, NCP acting chairman Salah Gosh issued a decree to strip the prime minister of all powers and suspend the local government, defence and interior ministers.

The dismissals come within just a few days after Sudanese interior minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Handayani alleged that Machar’s opposition forces attempted to seize power and appointed a “constitutional committee” that was headed by Ibrahim to overthrow the government.

The new military chief of staff does not form part of any political party, but sits on the central executive committee of the NCP and holds the same office as President al-Bashir.

The NCP government was elected in April 2010, elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2015 with an 86% majority, winning the votes of over 60% of the Sudanese electorate.

Opposition leaders criticized the new military chief of staff’s appointment, but largely denied there was a plot to overthrow the government.

The previous government resignations comes on the back of reports indicating a plot by political parties, the military and police to topple President al-Bashir.

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