On Saturday, large crowds of Sudanese took to the streets to celebrate the signing of the power-sharing agreements between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC). Others criticised the documents.
Various Sudanese cities and towns witnessed marches with people cheering and holding flags of Sudan, most notably the capital Khartoum celebrated the final signing and marking the beginning of a new phase in the country’s history amidst cheers calling for civilian rule.
El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, witnessed a march through the city, chanting slogans welcoming the transition to civilian rule, while El Geneina in West Darfur witnessed a similar march to welcome the final agreement and the transition to civilian rule.
However, residents of Zamzam camp for the displaced south of El Fasher staged a demonstration against the agreements.
Protesters from camp Zamzam said the Constitutional Declaration ignored the dues of peace and a radical solution to the issues of the displaced people, the refugees, and the war in Darfur.
The United Popular Front (UPF, a coalition of eastern Sudanese opposition factions) said in a statement on Saturday that the agreement “does not address the roots of the Sudanese crises”.
The Constitutional Declaration signed by the TMC and the FFC represented is “the completion of the theft of the revolution par excellence”.
The UPF considers “any agreement that goes beyond the fundamental problems, especially the issue of the displaced persons and the refugees or disregarding their participation cannot lead to lasting stability and we cannot be part of such an agreement”.
Minni Minawi, the head of a breakaway faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) and chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, a coalition of armed movements, commented that the agreements “do not include a radical solution to the crises in the country nor referred to the core historical issues”.
He warned that “The next government will face opposition from the street and a real challenge in the pressing issues, as all members of the FFC will participate in the transition period with non-partisan signs and dormant cells”.
“Bank managers and civil service leaders have been nominated and shared these posts among the FFC, he said.
“There are 1,400 public jobs that have been divided between them but the papers are hidden inside the drawers.”
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition of armed movements which is part of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said they would not take part in the signing ceremony of the agreement on the transitional authority with the military council.
In an op-ed written by the editor-in-chief of Radio Dabanga in early May, the armed resistance movements were mentioned as one of the challenges Sudan will continue to face after the ousting of former President Omar Al Bashir. Political Islamists, marginalised population groups, the consequences of the Darfur war, and the influence of regional and international powers, form the other four main challenges for the rebuilding of the country.
In conjunction with the signing ceremony, East Darfuris in Khartoum organised a demonstration demanding the release of Musa Hilal, chief of the Mahameed tribe and former Janjaweed leader. He was detained with hundreds of his tribesmen and militiamen in the end of 2017 and has not been released so far.
The demonstrators demanded the release of Hilal and the rest of the detainees from Darfur, chanted a variety of chants, including “No citizenship without freedom” and “Prove it, prove it, El Burhan and let Hilal be safe” [Barhan, barhan, ya Burhan, khalli Hilal yakoun fi iman].
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