There are a series of decisions made on Tuesday, in which Sudan military leader General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan dismissed the boards and appointed new heads for some 30 national universities.
Burhan is tightening his grips after taking control in a coup in October, changing appointments made by civilian leadership during a two-year power-sharing period.
As per the statement from the head of the board of governors for the University of Khartoum, Sudan’s most prominent university explained Burhan’s decisions as illegal and encroaching on powers held by the prime minister. One of the most prominent professors at Sudan University stated that they would begin an open-ended strike in protest.
Military leaders have yet to appoint a prime minister since the resignation of Abdalla Hamdok in January following a brief return to the office.
Universities have been a cradle for student protests, and university presidents have been involved in mediation attempts between the military and civilian groups.
Abdalla Hamdok Al-Kinani is a Sudanese public administrator who served as the 15th Prime Minister of Sudan from 2019 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. Before his appointment, Hamdok served in numerous national and international administrative positions.
From November 2011 to October 2018, he was Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). UNECA staff described Hamdok as “[a] diplomat, a humble man, and a brilliant and disciplined mind.” In August 2019, Hamdok was suggested as a likely candidate for Prime Minister of Sudan for the 2019 Sudanese transition to democracy.
Following the transfer of power from the Transitional Military Council to the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, the Sovereignty Council appointed Hamdok as Prime Minister during the transitional period.
He was sworn in on 21 August 2019. He was kidnapped and moved to an undisclosed location during the October 2021 Sudanese coup d’état.
The European Union, the United States, and other Western powers have stated that they continued to recognize the Hamdok cabinet as “the constitutional leaders of the transitional government.” On 21 November 2021, all political prisoners were freed. Hamdok was reinstated as prime minister as part of an agreement with the military. Hamdok resigned on 2 January 2022 amid continuing protests.