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Sudan’s generals, opposition ink accord on civilian rule

Sudan’s military rulers and opposition have signed a constitutional declaration that is expected to pave the way for a promised transition to civilian rule some four months after the ouster of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

After months of nationwide protest rallies over dire economic conditions and soaring prices of basic commodities, president Bashir was unseated on April 11 through a military coup, whose leaders then formed the so-called Transitional Military Council (TMC) with the task of running state affairs.

However, the generals on the council moved to consolidate power and themselves faced popular protests, which called for a civilian body to govern the country. On many occasions, the rallies were met with a heavy-handed crackdown.

After lengthy negotiations, the TMC and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), a wide coalition of opposition groups, reached a landmark power-sharing deal on July 17.

PressTV-Sudan’s factions agree document for transitional govt.

Sudan’s factions agree document for transitional govt.Sudanese factions have agreed on a constitutional declaration to usher in a new period of transitional government.

On Saturday, the two sides reached an agreement on the shape of a transitional government, and on Sunday, they signed a constitutional declaration during a ceremony in the capital, Khartoum, attended by African Union and Ethiopian mediators, who had helped broker the accord.

The document was initialed by Ahmed Rabie, the protest movement’s leader, and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy leader of the TMC and the second most powerful man in the African country.  

“We turned a tough page of Sudan’s history by signing this agreement,” said Dagalo, who flashed a victory sign after making a short speech.

But it was unclear how the signings would affect the situation on the ground. Violence has continued in the recent past despite talks and earlier agreements between the two sides, and the military leaders will continue to exercise strong influence for now.

Dagalo himself is the leader of the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), whose members are accused of being involved in a bloody crackdown on a protest camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum on June 3. At least 127 people were killed then, according to doctors close to the protest movement.

The parties are due to put final signatures on the agreement at a special ceremony in Khartoum attended by foreign leaders on August 17, when ousted Bashir is also due to go on trial on corruption charges.

According to Monzer Abu al-Maali, another protest leader, the two sides are also expected to announce on August 18 the composition of the new transitional civilian-majority ruling council, which will run Sudan during a three-year transitional period leading up to elections.

Two days later, on August 20, a new prime minister will be named, and on August 28, a cabinet will be appointed. The cabinet and the council, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, will meet on September 1, ahead of the appointment of a 300-member legislative assembly in three months.

The FFC will have 67 percent of the seats in the assembly, which will serve during the transitional period, and other political groups and factions not associated with Bashir will pick up the rest.

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