Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and leader of the military junta that seized power in Sudan in a coup d’état on October 25, announced today that the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) will be reinstated under his chairmanship, with the same military members and rebel leaders as before but with a new set (with one exception) of civilian members. During the coup, El Burhan dissolved the TSC and the civilian-led transitional government of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok that was established following the April 2019 overthrow of the Omar Al Bashir regime.
Sudanese television and the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) report that El Burhan today issued Constitutional Decree No. 21, (re)forming the Transitional Sovereignty Council under his chairmanship. Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo ‘Hemeti’ will serve as a deputy chair, and Lt Gen Shamseldin Kabashi, Lt Gen Yasir El Ata, Lt Gen Ibrahim Jaber, in addition to rebel leaders Malik Agar, El Hadi Idris, and El Taher Hajar remain unchanged.
The civilian members will be former member Rajaa Nikola Abdelmaseeh, in addition to Abulgasim Bortom, Yousef Jad Karim, Abdelbagi El Zubeir, and Salma Abdeljabbar. The announcement stipulates that the appointment of a representative from eastern Sudan is postponed until “the completion of the consultations”. There has been an unresolved political impasse in eastern Sudan for more than a month as the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains reject the Eastern Sudan Track discussed at the Juba peace negotiations.
Mediation initiatives failed
El Watheg El Bereir, Secretary-General of Sudan’s the National Umma Party (NUP) and official spokesperson for the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) – the main drivers of the revolution that overthrew the 30-year Al Bashir dictatorship in 2019 – says that six local and foreign mediation initiatives have failed to achieve any breakthrough in the current political crisis in Sudan.
In an interview with the Radio Dabanga’s Sudan Today programme, El Bereir explained that the latest local initiative proposed, is the joint initiative of human rights activist Mudawi Ibrahim, NUP interim chairman Fadlallah Burma, and prominent lawyer Nabil Adib in their personal capacities.
Their initiative proposed the appointment of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok as the 15th member of the Sovereignty Council, though all political forces agreed that the proposal did not rise to the level of the initiative. He said that all indications before the coup were that the military component was determined to attack the Constitutional Document.
According to El Bereir, the problem is not to settle Hamdok, but rather consists in tearing up the Constitutional Document, declaring a State of Emergency, detaining political leaders and activists, as well as dismissing employees in institutions, banks, departments, and unions and replacing them with others, affiliated with the deposed regime of Al Bashir.
He called for returning the situation to October 24 “to get the country out of the dark tunnel after the military coup that overthrew the aspirations of the people”.
Regarding the identity of the coup, El Bereir said that there are indications and evidence confirming the coup’s link with the Muslim Brotherhood in the country, pointing out that the new officials who replaced the previous government have links with the ousted Al Bashir regime.
He noted the return of the military and security forces loyal to the Al Bashir regime, and considered this as bad indicators, and “bringing the situation back to square one, which will increase the tension”.
The National Consensus Forces (NCF) alliance of progressive political parties affirmed that it has not and will not be part of any initiative that seeks to mediate.
The alliance said in a statement on Wednesday that the coup authority continues to consolidate the return of the remnants of the former regime and their dominance over the joints of the state.
According to the statement, the putschists would announce today or tomorrow a new Sovereignty Council and a Council of Ministers.
The NCF considers “all measures and decisions taken by Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan false and illegitimate”. They are “invalid, lack constitutional legitimacy, have no legitimacy and popular support, stressing their resistance with full force”.
The alliance called on its members and other revolutionaries to continue mobilising and escalating to bring down the coup, and declared support for all calls for protest marches, calling for unifying efforts and tight coordination.