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Sudan junta, opposition reach agreement over Constitutional Declaration

August 3 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Protests in Khartoum, August 1, 2019 (RD)
Protests in Khartoum, August 1, 2019 (RD)

The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) agreed on the contents of the Constitutional Declaration. The accord “paves the way for the formation of an interim government,” African Union mediator Mohamed Lebatt told reporters in the early hours of Saturday.

According to the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) the two parties are expected to sign the document text on Sunday.

They agreed on contentious matters such as the position of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main government militia, commanded by Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, deputy chairman of the TMC and the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

During the coming interim period of 39 months, the RSF will be commanded by the commander-in-chief of the Sudanese army. The security apparatus will be supervised by the Sovereign Council and the Cabinet.

Leading FFC member Mervat Hamedelnil called the agreement “an important step to end the political vacuum in Sudan, and to achieve the objectives of the Sudanese strategic revolution”.

“The most important issues agreed upon are the proportions of the new Parliament and the division of power between the Sovereign Council and the Cabinet,” she said.

At dawn today, the streets of Khartoum witnessed people cheering “Victory, victory!” and “Our government will be civil”.

Radio Dabanga reported on Friday afternoon that the FFC were optimistic about the outcomes of the resumed negotiations.

Lawyer Sati El Haj told reporters in Khartoum on Thursday that the joint legal committee of the two parties in principle agreed to form a Parliament with 67 percent of the seats allocated to members of the FFC. The other 33 percent will be reserved for other groups and individuals who also contributed to the uprising.

Points of contention revolved around the position of the RSF, in addition to the body that will restructure the regular forces, and the competences of electoral, peace, and border commissions.

El Haj further emphasised that the draft document did not include “any absolute substantive immunities, but procedural immunities”.

Political Agreement

The Constitutional Declaration complements the Political Agreement signed by both parties on July 17.

According to the text of the Agreement, a Sovereign Council consisting of 11 members will rule the country. Five members will be from the military, five will be civilians. The 11th member will be civilian, to be selected by both the junta and the opposition coalition.

The Presidency will rotate. The coming 21 months, the president will be from the military, followed by a civilian for 18 months. Elections will be held after a transitional period of three years and three months. The Cabinet will exist of technocrats, to be selected by the FFC.

The various stakeholders reacted differently to the Political Agreement that was brokered by the African Union and Ethiopian mediators. While the international community and the National Umma Party welcomed the deal, the armed movements, displaced people in Darfur, and Sudanese journalists rejected the contents of the document.

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