Sudan's Prime Minister Hamdok vows to recover looted state funds

Sudan's Prime Minister Hamdok vows to recover looted state funds
Sudan's Prime Minister Hamdok vows to recover looted state funds

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok vowed to recover national funds that were looted by the previous administration in efforts to rebuild the country.

Mass demonstrations erupted last December, initially against hikes in bread and fuel prices before quickly morphing into an uprising demanding political change.

“Everyone has the right to appeal and it is up to the judiciary to make the decision on whether these funds should be obtained,” Mr Hamdok said during a visit to Washington last week.

The Sudanese prime minister took charge in August after a power-sharing agreement was reached between protesters and the military, each having equal representation in the country’s Sovereign Council until elections are held in a little more than three years.

“There is a success story that is emerging” in Sudan, Mr Hamdok told an audience at the Washington based think tank The Atlantic Council.

The official said the transitional government is focused on stabilising the country’s fractured economy, fighting corruption, building state institutions and increasing social welfare and infrastructure.

Mr Hamdok said his government's top priority is to "stop the war and build the foundation of sustainable peace.”

The Sudanese leader asserted that in “a region full of crises and riddled with conflicts, Sudan provides hopes.”

Mr Hamdok said the transitional government is focused on stabilising Sudan’s “bankrupt economy,” eradicating corruption, building state institutions, and increasing social development.

During his visit both countries agreed to enhance their diplomatic relations by appointing ambassadors for the first time in 23 years.

“This decision is a meaningful step forward in strengthening the US-Sudan relationship, particularly as the civilian-led transitional government works to implement the vast reforms under the political agreement and constitutional declaration,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter.

While Sudan has come a long way since Mr Al Bashir’s three decades of dictatorship, the country still faces many challenges.

Mr Hamdok also met with US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.

The two leaders discussed the removal of Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, a designation the country earned after Mr Al Bashir welcomed Al Qaeda’s former leader, Osama bin Laden

The Sudanese official stressed that the removal of his country from the list of the states sponsoring terrorism was vital for his government’s success in implementing changes, linking it specifically to jump-starting investment and tackling Sudan’s high public sector debt, “but also opening the country writ large".

Mr Hamdok said the strengthening of diplomatic representation between Washington and Khartoum will “enhance bilateral relations”.

Washington and Khartoum first established diplomatic relations in 1956, the year the vast Afro-Arab nation won its independence from Egyptian-British rule.

Sudan severed diplomatic ties with Washington in 1967 to protest against US support for Israel during the Arab-Israeli war.

Relations were restored five years later, but Washington closed its embassy in 1996 in response to terrorist threats. It was reopened in 2002, but has since been led by a charge d’affaires, not an ambassador.

Updated: December 8, 2019 05:23 PM

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