Khartoum, Nov.24(SUNA)-The American CNN TV Channel, on Tuesday, interviewed the Prime Minister, Dr Abdalla Hamdouk on the political agreement he signed with the President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council General,Abdul-Fattah Al Burhan, and hereunder SUNA publishes the text of the interview:-
Q: What about the political agreement signed recently between you and the President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council?
A: There is no perfect agreement, there is a good agreement. There is a workable agreement. There is a possible agreement, that will allow things to be normalized and allow the country to move forward.
We basically signed this agreement for us to save the lives of our people and to avoid bloodshed and to be able to put the country back.
There are so many other reasons that compelled us to go into this agreement among them I think we would like to preserve the achievements that we have achieved in the last two years. Specifically, into areas in the economy and peace and I could elaborate further. It is also an impasse, both nationally, domestically and internationally.
This agreement has a great potential in unblocking this and I think, more importantly, is to allow us to go back to the political process that would allow us to reach the election point and handover power an elected people and allow us to choose the government of the choice. That's why we went into this agreement.
Q: Personally, do you feel humiliated by it?
A: No, I don't feel humiliated for one reason. I had to take the right decision in the interests of the country. It's not a personal issue for me.
Q: You have spoken to the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who as I understand it, told you that this agreement was only a quote first step in restoring Sudan's democratic transition. Have you had conversations about restarting the $700 million dollar aid at this point? Is that forthcoming?
A: We hope so. We hope as we progress in implementing this agreement, we will be able to restore the momentum that was created over the last few years. We have done a lot both domestically and internationally and all that, but I think that we're determined to take the country in that direction.
Q: Let's talk about the agreement itself. Then you signed a deal with the same military who just recently had you under house arrest. The same military who led a coup last month and has killed over 40 protesters? Why would you sign this agreement and why do you believe this agreement is the way forward for Sudan.
A: We regret all the bloodshed, the loss of our people, the Sudanese blood is very precious. But we signed this agreement precisely to avoid further bloodshed. Further catastrophes, we live in a region we know so well. If you do not go into a serious process of reaching a compromise that would allow things to be normalized and get back, the alternatives would be even having more consequences and could lead to even more bloodshed. So, what we did is precisely to stop that, the guarantees for this agreement to be implemented and We do not have a side check to say that it will be implemented but that will rely on the goodwill of both sides. And on the will of our people and as I said there is no perfect agreement. We will address its deficiencies, its problems, and I think we'll put it to the test. The final outcome will be determined by the Sudanese people.
Q: Before that, you've said that you're relying on the will of all sides are you confident that the military will stick to their promises with this new agreement? This is the same military who dismantled the previous agreement dissolve the government arrested government officials and killed scores of protesters killing a 16-year-old boy just an hour after the agreement was signed? Do you truly believe they will hand over power peacefully and securely to a civilian government when it is time?
A: I believe so. And I think we are going to start working on a roadmap in the next 18 months, it is just about enough to organize a credible election. We will set the affirmed date which is now we are talking about July 2023. And we're backward to stablish an affirmed roadmap that will lead us to that date. I think we will establish those benchmarks and we will take it one at a time hoping that this will create the momentum for us to reach that dotted line.
Q: What's your message to the protesters on the streets today? The ones calling for an end to the military or even somewhat calling your move a betrayal?
I fully appreciate and understand their anger and frustration. But I want them to understand also the consequences could have been much greater, much more serious
: Several major pro-democracy groups have come out against this deal opposing any new political partnership with the military hand saying that the perpetrators of the coup should be brought to justice ultimately, do you agree and if so, what will you do to that end going forward?
A: There is a perfect agreement and there is a workable agreement, if we will be waiting for a perfect agreement will wait for so long and it will be too late. What we did is to save our country we know as imperfect has deficiencies; it has problems and also disappointed so many people, I appreciate that. But I think we took this decision in the interest of our country and our people and we do not want our country to take the same route and the same fate of catastrophic examples in our region.
Q: So, have all of the political prisoners NOW being released?
A: Not all of them are about 31 prisoners of them Up to yesterday even released, nine of them were working or release interest. This is number one item in my table and I will not rest until all of them are released, this will put this whole agreement into a test.
Q: Ibrahim modawi told me that he thinks the future of Sudan is looking quite bleak. Is that how you see it?
A: No, that's not how I see. I see a bumpy road. I see a challenging road ahead of us. I have always been an optimistic. That's why I'm still continuing this job. The day I feel I could not do anything. I will not be staying here. My job is to create that hope and give the Sudanese people reason to look for a brighter future.
Q: The region is fragile at present. Let's be quite frank. How concerned are you about what is happening Next door to you in Ethiopia?
A: We were very much concerned. We voiced this so many times. We know about anything happening Ethiopia will affect us and vice versa is true, Ethiopia is a nation of more than 110 million. And God forbid if anything happened to Ethiopia come to a close collapse or anything like that. Sudan will be at the front line receiving all the consequences and the challenges and the problems of that we already suffering from thousands of refugees came from there from the start of the war. And if this intensified, we will be at the receiving end of this. So, we are very much concerned and we hope reason will prevail and Ethiopia also will be able to address these challenges and problems through national dialogue and war is not a solution.