Protest leaders in Sudan have reached an agreement with the military that will see the latter transfer power to a fully civilian government after a transition period of three years. The resolution comes after weeks of intense negotiations between both parties in a country that has been marred by violence, following the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir by his army generals.
The country’s military has been holding onto a leadership role ever since it ended the 30-year rule of Bashir in April and had initial plans to anchor a two-year transition period, but the protest movement – the Alliance for Freedom and Change – demanded a civilian-led transition of four years.
With the consensus on the transition approach and period that was announced on Wednesday, Lieutenant General Yasser al-Atta, a member of the military council, revealed that both parties will be signing a final agreement on power-sharing. Both parties would also have to agree on the construct of the next ruling body – the sovereign council – within a day.
Although negotiations over the composition of the new sovereign ruling body are still ongoing, the planned council will replace the existing ruling body made up solely of generals.
“We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people’s aspirations,” Atta said, adding that the first six months of the transition period will be assigned to signing peace accords with rebels in the country’s war zones.
The African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) had earlier this month disclosed their backing for a civilian-led transitional government in Sudan as AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat described it as “unacceptable” to sustain the military council that assumed power after al-Bashir’s overthrow.
The UN-AU communique welcomed and supported “AU-led efforts to facilitate a consensual and civilian-led transition, in close coordination with the UN,” a statement read.
After the sovereign council is established in Sudan, there are plans to set up a new transitional civilian government that will oversee the country’s daily affairs and will be responsible for organizing the first post-Bashir elections after the end of the transition period.
Meanwhile, the parliament will be composed of 300 members during the transition time as stated by Atta, 67 percent of which will be from the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the rest will be from other political groups.