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Sudan rebel movements denounce Khartoum agreement

July 6 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Jibril Ibrahim (L), leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, Abdelwahid El Nur, head of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), and Minni Minawi, leader of a SLM-breakaway group (RD)
Jibril Ibrahim (L), leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, Abdelwahid El Nur, head of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), and Minni Minawi, leader of a SLM-breakaway group (RD)

The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition of armed movements does not accept the agreement reached between the Transitional Military Council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) on Friday morning. They call for an urgent meeting with the AFC under auspices of the African Union.

According to Minni Minawi, head of a breakaway Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) faction and chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition of armed movements, the agreement “does not reflect the country's pressing issues nor respects its sacrifices”.

In a statement on Friday, the rebel leader stressed that “Any agreement not based on peace-making is an extension of the old regime” under the leadership of Omar Al Bashir.

Minawi called the agreement between the military junta and “some components” of the AFC “old fish in a new pot”. It is “just a contract concluded with the security forces to hit the [armed] movements and oppress the regions in the margin through a so-called civilian legitimacy”.

He said the rebel groups consider the allocation of the first six months of the new government to peace-making “a distortion of the ideas of the SRF and warn that the new agreement “will not lead to the rebuilding of Sudan”.

“Any agreement not based on peace-making is an extension of the old regime”  - Minni Minawi

Agreement

In the early hours of Friday morning, the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) reached an agreement on power sharing during a transitional period of three years and three months. After that general elections are planned. The formation of a parliament is not clear yet.

The Sovereign Council will consist of 11 members: Five from the military and five civilians. The 11th member will be civilian, to be selected by both the TMC and the AFC. One of the members will act as president. The coming 21 months, the president will be from the military, to be followed by a civilian for 18 months.

An agreement has also been reached on a national commission of inquiry into the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in on June 3 and protestors killed since then.

Unity

Malik Agar, head of the Blue Nile faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N Agar) and member of the SRF, called for an urgent meeting of the Alliance for Freedom and Change to be sponsored by the African Union “to consolidate the unity of the Sudanese opposition and agree on issues of peace and democratic change in the country” and “to link the democratic transition to a just peace”.

In a statement issued a few hours after the agreement on a “transitional authority”, Agar pointed to “the contradictions” that recently emerged within the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC).

He stressed that "the unity of all components of the AFC, including the armed rebel forces is of strategic importance for the implementation of the entire programme of the transitional period.

“The unity of the AFC and the forces of the uprising is irreplaceable, whether the agreement [with the junta] that does not include issues of war with the military junta or not. Therefore, regarding the unity of the AFC and the forces of revolution, we have great challenges to build a new regime,” the rebel leader stated.

“We need to agree on comprehensive security arrangements in the country, the restructuring of the security and economic sectors, the approval of the programme of the transitional period, agreeing on the arrangements for the constitutional conference and setting the date.”

"The unity of the AFC, including the armed rebel forces is of strategic importance for the implementation of the entire programme of the transitional period.” - Malik Agar

The meeting of all AFC members should include the formation of an AFC leadership council, “as a political reference” during the interim period.

The African Union that together with Ethiopia brokered the talks between the military council and the opposition, should facilitate the meeting of the AFC members in Addis Ababa. “Through this meeting the AFC decisions can be supported by all of its members. In this way, the civil society will be able to support transition, peace, democracy, and regional stability in Sudan.”

Justice

Agar further considers the agreement reached between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the AFC as weak also because “It left issues as the blood of the martyrs and justice to their bereaved to a so-called national committee.”

He warned that the junta “sooner or later” will veto the results of the investigation into “the massacre of the Khartoum sit-in” on June 3, during which more than 100 protesters were reportedly killed.

Betrayal

The mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) is not part of the SRF. El Nur categorically refuses to join negotiations with Khartoum before disarmament of the militias has taken place and stability has been restored in the region.

In a statement on Friday, El Nur sharply criticised the Khartoum agreement, calling it a “cheap bargain” and “a betrayal of the revolution and the blood of the martyrs”.

He described the new government to be formed as “an extension of the former regime.

According to the rebel leader the Transitional Military Council is illegal. “They came to power by a military coup. It is just an extension of the rule of Al Bashir and his military predecessors who have ruled Sudan since its independence for 54 years with iron and fire - which has only led to this mess. By agreeing to the conditions of the Transitional Military Council, the AFC does not represent the Sudanese people and the revolution, so it is natural that any mating between them produces a mutilated bastard,” he said.

“Comprehensive and real change is achieved by overthrowing the regime including all its institutions, establishing a full civilian authority, and by building a state of equal citizenship”.

El Nur rejected the formation of a national commission to investigate the crime of dismantling the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on June 3. He called it “a concession to fair retribution,” referring to the “lack of results of investigation committees into the many crimes committed under the former regime”.

The rebel leader urged the Sudanese people not to accept a “half revolution”, and continue protesting “until the entire regime has been overthrown and comprehensive change has been achieved”.

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 development of Sudan.


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