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Sudan coup: Hamdok sacks police chiefs after deadly crackdown on protesters

Sudan's sovereign council also announces appointment of new director of the general intelligence service
Port police members in Port Sudan on 7 October during a protest sit-in against the Juba Peace Agreement, signed last year (AFP/File photo)

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has replaced Sudan's police chiefs after more than 40 people were killed in a crackdown on protests following last month's military coup.

Military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power and detained Hamdok on 25 October, but after international condemnation and mass protests he reinstated the premier in a 21 November deal.

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At least 42 people were killed, according to medics, as security forces sought to crush weeks of anti-coup demonstrations, with protests continuing even after Hamdok's release from house arrest and return to his post last week.

On Saturday, Hamdok said he had sacked the director-general of the police, Khaled Mahdi Ibrahim al-Emam, and his deputy, Ali Ibrahim.

In their place, he appointed Anan Hamed Mohamed Omar with Abdelrahman Nasreddine Abdallah as his deputy, the premier said in a statement.

Medics have accused security forces of targeting protesters in the "head, neck and torso" with live ammunition, as well as with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters.

The police have denied reports they opened fire using live bullets.

Post-coup ripples

Later on Saturday, Sudan's sovereign council also announced that it had appointed a new director of the general intelligence service, Ahmed Mufaddal, who formerly served as deputy director.

Hundreds of political activists, journalists, protesters and bystanders watching the rallies have been arrested in recent weeks, and remain in custody.

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While several civilian leaders have been released since last Sunday's deal, key figures are also still in detention.

The deal raised hopes for some that Sudan will be able to return to its tenuous transition process.

But critics slammed the agreement as "whitewashing" the coup, with some protesters accusing Hamdok of "treason" by signing it.

Hamdok, who has headed a transitional government since the 2019 ouster of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, said Wednesday he partnered with the military in order to "stop the bloodshed" and "not squander the gains of the last two years".

The deal he signed with Burhan lays down a "clear date" for Sudan's first free elections in three decades slated for July 2023, the premier said.