Sudan Army, Opposition Leaders Strike Power Sharing Deal

Sudan Army, Opposition Leaders Strike Power Sharing Deal

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By Agencies

Khartoum: The military in Sudan has reached an agreement with the leaders of opposition to set up a joint council that will lead the country till a new president is elected.

The agreement was reached during a meeting on Saturday between the ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) and the Declaration of Freedom and Changes Forces, an umbrella organisation of opposition groups. Reports from Khartoum indicate however that while the agreement marked a breakthrough, it was still in the early stages and details had yet to be ironed out. There is still a lot of discord and disagreement between the two sides. The military wants 10 members on this council, three of them civilian, seven of them military.

But the Opposition want the council to be made up of 15 members, eight of them civilians and seven people from the military. Speaking at a press conference in Khartoum, al-Mahdi called on the MTC “to act with wisdom, not tension”. “We hope that the civilian authority in the transition period will organize national, economic and international conferences”, he added. Al-Mahdi stressed that the transitional period must follow free elections. But all that notwithstanding, the Sudan protesters have vowed to keep up campaign for civilian rule until they fully achieve their goal of ridding the country of military rule. This comes a few weeks after the army overthrew former president Omar El-Bashir after four months of protests by civilians against his regime.

After the fall of President Omar al-Bashir on March 11, following months of popular demonstrations against his 30-year rule, the MTC is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold presidential elections, although civilians contend that two years is a long time. On Saturday the protesters clashed with members of the Popular Congress Party of late opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi outside a meeting in Khartoum, leaving 65 party members injured. Meanwhile, the Sudanese opposition has rejected an African Union move to give the ruling military council a three-month deadline for handing power over to a civil administration. “Sudanese don’t need the recommendation of African Union,” said Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the National Umma Party.

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