Sudan crisis: Military and opposition agree three-year transition

Sudan crisis: Military and opposition agree three-year transition

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Sudanese protesters chant slogans and wave placards during a demonstration in Khartoum on May 14, 2019Image copyright
AFP

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Protesters’ demands for full civilian government have remained undimmed

Sudan’s military leaders have announced an agreement with the opposition alliance for a three-year transition period to a civilian administration.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) said the alliance would have two-thirds of the seats on a legislative council.

Sudan has been ruled by the military council since last month’s toppling of President Omar al-Bashir.

Protests that led to his downfall have continued amid demands for full civilian government.

Hours before the latest deal was announced, at least five protesters and a member of the security forces died in clashes in the capital, Khartoum.

What has been agreed?

At a joint news conference, Lt Gen Yasser al-Atta said a final agreement on power sharing would be signed with the opposition alliance – the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) – within 24 hours. That would include the forming of a new sovereign council which will rule the country until elections.

“We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that meets the people’s aspirations,” he said.

Gen Atta said the DFCF would have two-thirds of the seats on a 300-member transitional legislative council while the rest would be taken by parties not part of the alliance.

Earlier, protest movement spokesman Taha Osman said the sides had agreed on the structure of future authorities – a sovereign council, a cabinet and a legislative body.

DFCF member Satea al-Hajj expressed optimism that the final details on power-sharing would be agreed, adding: “The viewpoints are close and, God willing, we will reach an agreement soon.”

The military had originally wanted a two-year transition period while protest leaders had sought four years.

How did we get here?

In December, demonstrators took to the streets over a government decision to triple the price of bread. The protests soon grew into widespread anger against the president’s 30-year rule.

Five weeks into the protests, on 17 January, witnesses said state forces fired live ammunition at protesters and killed a doctor.

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Media captionDozens of people were injured in the clashes

He had been treating injured protesters in his home in Khartoum when police reportedly fired tear gas into the building.

He was one of dozens of people killed during the anti-government unrest.

As anger mounted, protesters staged a sit-in from 6 April outside military headquarters in Khartoum to demand the army force the president out.

Five days later, the president was overthrown by the military.

A military council assumed power on 11 April, but demonstrators stayed put, insisting that it transfer authority to a civilian administration.

Initially, talks between the ruling generals and the protest organisers had shown little sign of progress.

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