Sudan’s pro-coup finance minister has called international hopes for a reversal of the country’s military overthrow “unrealistic.”
Gibreil Ibrahim told The Associated Press late on Tuesday that time is running out for the country’s deposed prime minister to agree to join the post-coup government.
“The country cannot wait forever, so if he did not take the job, then someone else will definitely take it,” Ibrahim was quoted as saying.
Dozens of civilian leaders in Sudan’s interim government were removed and arrested last month in a military coup led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, himself a leading member of Sudan’s post-revolutionary transitional government.
The United Nations, European Union, United States and a host of international leaders have called on Burhan and his co-conspirators to reverse the coup and reinstate the civilian-led transitional government.
Despite potentially massive economic consequences, Burhan has defied those calls. Last week he appointed a new transitional council with himself as its chair.
Protesters objecting to the coup have rallied in Khartoum and other cities for weeks despite widespread internet outages and security forces blocking some of the bridges leading into the capital. At least two protesters have been shot dead by security forces using live ammunition in the capital, according to the Sudanese Doctors Association.
Hundreds have been wounded and as many as 25 people dead since the coup took place late last month.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is still recognized by the United States and other countries, remains under house arrest. He has so far not agreed to run the newly appointed cabinet as the coup leaders have requested.
The United States froze some $700 million in financial assistance to Sudan, which remains heavily indebted and suffers from worsening inflation after decades of mismanagement and international isolation under the regime of former dictator Omar al-Bashir.
Bashir’s rule came to an end in 2019 when Burhan and other military figures removed him from power amid broad a pro-democracy uprising across the country. The transitional civilian-led government that military leaders deposed last month had been tasked with transitioning the country toward democratic rule, with elections set for 2023.
Burhan has claimed deposing the civilian-led government was intended to put the transition back on track amid squabbling over the details of the transition process. He has also said elections will be held on schedule.
As much as $19 billion in international debt relief for Sudan remains frozen as a result of the coup.