The chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, stressed the importance of examining the structure and the arrangement of tasks of the Transitional Partners Council (TPC) in a press statement yesterday. The statement was made in response to the widespread opposition against his plans to establish the TPC.
He explained that the military component of the Sovereign Council respects and remains committed to the Constitutional Document signed by Sudan’s military and the Forces for Freedom and Change in August last year. He also explained that the military will work with full force to serve the stability of the transition within any formation.
He stressed the importance of overcoming crises with wisdom and collective action in order to meet the needs of the people and stated that the formation of the TPC is supposed to enable state agencies to focus on solving people's problems.
The Revolution Protection Group, chaired by Mahjoub Saleh, described the formation of the TPC as “a conspiracy to hijack the December revolution”, and considered it “to consecrate the spirit of differences, weaken the revolutionary power and the government, and bring about a radical change in the structures of the transitional government”.
In a statement yesterday, Saleh called for the unity of the revolutionary forces to establish a democratic national programme and a transitional legislative council.
He also called for an urgent meeting of all revolutionary groups to fortify their resilience against what he described as “plots of the military and others” during the transitional period.
The Civil Forces Caucus renewed its opposition against the formation of a Transitional Partners Council. It also called for the formation of a transitional legislative council and other commissions as stipulated in the Constitutional Document.
The SPLM-North Vice-Chairman Yasir Arman expressed criticism too. On Sunday, he stated that there are flaws in al-Burhan’s decision to form the TPC and called for more discussions between the government parties to resolve differences.
He said that "the purpose of the council is to avoid confrontation, establishing a solid partnership between the parties to the transition and resolving, but now the council itself has become a crisis”.
Arman called to return to the starting point and form a new consultative body in line with Article 80 of the amended constitutional document. According to him, the Transitional Partners Council has to resolve potential disputes between the parties participating in the transitional period government.
Opposition and criticism
These are not the only voices of criticism. Many political parties and organisations have expressed their discontent with El Burhan’s plans.
Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the Central Council of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) stressed the importance of preventing a transgression of the power of the country's constitutional institutions to the TPC.
The Sudanese Congress Party, a leading member of the FFC, called the decision to form the TPC “unacceptable” and not in compliance “with what has been agreed upon before”.
The National Umma Party accused “some parties to have a hidden agenda to try to disrupt the march towards democracy, and try to deviate from the original idea of a Transitional Partners Council in terms of form, competences, and composition”.
The Sudanese National Alliance called for “freezing the work of the TPC until further consultations have been made”. It also called for “a reasonable representation of women and youth, and all parties to the peace agreement”.
Civil society organisations, including the No to Women’s Oppression Initiative in Khartoum, and a large number of Resistance Committees also rejected the new Partners Council.
Last week, El Burhan issued a decision to form a Transitional Partners Council (TPC) of 29 members: six from the military, the prime minister, 13 from the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), and nine members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance that signed the Juba Peace Agreement with the government on October 3.
Especially the allocation of a sixth military seat caused widespread critique.
The five current military members of the Sovereign Council will have a seat in the TPC. The sixth military seat has been reserved for Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo, Deputy Commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and brother of Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, RSF Commander-in-chief and Vice President of the Sovereign Council.