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Sudan’s Military Council agrees to proposals of mediation team

May 6 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, chairman of Sudan's Military Council (Arab News)
Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, chairman of Sudan's Military Council (Arab News)

The Sudanese team mediating between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the forces of Freedom and Change has proposed the formation of a leadership council for Sudan, consisting of seven civilians and three military personnel, to be headed by the current chairman of the TMC, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan. The mediation team further suggested the establishment of a National Security and Defence Council, consisting of seven military and three civilians. The TMC has agreed to the proposals.

The team which includes prominent journalist Mahjoub Mohamed Saleh and businessman Osama Daoud, has been set-up to bridge the gap between the opposition coalition and the TMC over the division of powers and the formation of a new government.

The mediation proposal comprises the formation of “a cabinet of ministers with full executive powers to be selected by the forces of Freedom and Change, which will be headed by a prime minister who participates in the selection of his ministers”. The Security and Defence Council will not interfere in the selection, except when security matters are involved.

The three civilian members of the Security and Defence Council will consist of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Council will deal with all matters of defence and security, including the security apparatus, and will be headed by the chairman of the Military Council.

Omar El Degeir, Chairman of both the Sudanese Congress Party and the Freedom and Change negotiation team, said that the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change in principle agreed on the proposals of the mediation committee.

In a press conference on Monday, he explained that the proposal is still under discussion. The opposition parties must take a unified position concerning the proposals, in a manner that does not conflict with the principles of a civil transitional authority as stated in the Declaration of Freedom and Change, he said.

Rejected

Dr Maryam El Sadig, Co-Vice-President of the National Umma Party, however said that the proposals of the mediation nullify the Declaration of Freedom and Change.

She told Blue Nile TV channel on Saturday evening that the powers of the Leadership Council as proposed by the mediation team are “limited and symbolic” and a consensus, in addition to the existence of a special council of defence and national security and the government of competent to be consulted with others to implement programmes supported by a powerful legislature that guards the gains of the revolution and closely follows the performance of the government.

The Communist Party of Sudan has rejected the proposal of the mediation committee, insisting that the Leadership Council be civilian.

In a statement on Monday, the party expressed its categorical rejection of any military representation in the proposed Leadership Council. It also declared its refusal of a national security council as part of the new leadership of the country.

It said the Sudanese people will reject the ideas as well as “they have been calling for a civilian government for months”.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, the driving force behind the protests, said it would accept only one council, a civil one with limited representation of the military, and called on “all the Sudanese people to adhere to all forms of peaceful protests” in order to press for a civilian government.


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