Antonio Guterres told reporters the AU continues to encourage both the prime minister and the military “to find a compromise on the political side with civil society and political parties so they can conclude this transition”.

Guterres said the judicial institutions of Sudan need to be established, so that the whole thing can work.
Guterres said the judicial institutions of Sudan need to be established, so that the whole thing can work. (AP)

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the Sudanese people to support reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok so the country can have “a peaceful transition towards a true democracy.”

Guterres on Wednesday told a news conference he understands “the indignation” and outrage of Sudanese, who have seen a military coup that called into question agreements for a transition to democracy.

“But I would like to appeal for common sense. We have a situation which is, yes, not perfect, but which could allow for a transition towards democracy,” he said.

“In 18 months, in theory, there should be elections and I think that our political parties should be preparing for this,” he said.

“The Electoral Commission is to be set up and the judicial institutions of the country need to be established, too, so that the whole thing can work.”

READ MORE: A military coup: What is happening in Sudan?

'Encouraging sign'

Protesters have taken to the streets in large numbers in the capital Khartoum and other cities around the country since the generals seized power on October 25 to demand that the armed forces stay out of government. 

Hamdok and more than 100 civilian government figures were detained. Guterres said the UN fought to free the prime minister.

“For me, it was an important victory to see that the prime minister was freed and could return to his post” in November, the secretary-general said.

Hamdok was reinstated under military oversight in a deal that many in the pro-democracy movement oppose.

While reiterating that he understands the public outrage, Guterres warned that calling into question the solution that led to the prime minister’s reinstatement “would be very dangerous for Sudan.”

The UN chief told reporters the AU continues to encourage both the prime minister and the military “to find a compromise on the political side with civil society and political parties so they can conclude this transition.”

African Union Commission chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat noted the demands by young people and political parties, but said Hamdok’s return “was an encouraging sign.”

He said the AU wants to see a compromise to conclude the transition and organise the first elections in decades in Sudan. 

“I think this is an opportunity we shouldn’t let slip,” he said.

READ MORE: Q&A: Why is there a standoff in the Sudan coup?

Source: AP