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Sudan: Signing of Constitutional Declaration heralds start of comprehensive peace process

August 5 - 2019 KHARTOUM
FCC leader Ahmed Rabee and Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ hold copies of the Constitutional Declaration during the signing ceremony in Khartoum yesterday (Picture SUNA)
FCC leader Ahmed Rabee and Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ hold copies of the Constitutional Declaration during the signing ceremony in Khartoum yesterday (Picture SUNA)

Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) will sign a final agreement on Saturday August 17 in the presence of regional and international representatives, after they signed the Constitutional Declaration yesterday.

According to the schedule, the members of the Sovereign Council will be appointed on Sunday August 18 from 11 people including six civilians and five military personnel.

The Prime Minister will also be appointed on August 20, while the 20 Ministers will be appointed on August 28.

The first meeting of the new Cabinet will take place on August 31, marking the first joint meeting of the Sovereign Council and the Cabinet and the beginning of the implementation of the comprehensive peace process.

Comprehensive Peace Process

The agreement provides for the establishment of a joint civil-military Sovereign Council, which will be headed by the military during the first 21 months, followed by a civilian president for the next 18 months.

The Constitutional Declaration initialled by the FFC and the TMC approves the procedural immunity of the members of the Sovereign Council and the rulers of the states, abolishes the laws and texts restricting freedoms, and stipulates the liquidation of the former regime.

Transitional government

According to the Constitutional Declaration, the transitional government is committed to work towards achieving peace and comprehensive justice and ending the war by addressing the roots of the Sudanese problem and addressing its effects, taking into account provisional preferential measures for war-affected areas, less developed regions and the most vulnerable groups.

The declaration also called for the abolition of all regulations and laws restricting freedoms or discriminating against citizens on the basis of gender, and holding accountable the affiliates of the former regime for all crimes committed against the Sudanese people since June 30, 1989, according to the law.

Rule of Law

The transitional government, according to the declaration, will dismantle the empowerment structure of the regime of June 30, 1989 and restore the Rule of Law and institutions.

The declaration pledges to tackle the economic crisis by stopping the economic deterioration and working to lay the foundation for sustainable development by implementing an urgent economic, social, financial and humanitarian programme to face the current challenges.

Human rights and justice

The transitional government shall also be working on legal reform, rebuilding and developing the human rights and justice system, ensuring the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, In addition to working to settle the situation of arbitrarily dismissed from the civil or military service and seek to redress the damage in accordance with the law.

The transitional government shall also be working to establish mechanisms for the preparation and drafting of a permanent constitution for the Sudan, to hold a constitutional national conference before the end of the transitional period, to legislate on the functions of the transitional period and to develop programmes for the reform of the state organs through the transitional period in a manner that reflects their independence, nationality and fair distribution of opportunities with competence to assign the task of the work and repair the military apparatus of military institutions according to the law.

The Constitutional Declaration resolved the debate on the investigation of the violent dismantling of the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on June 3, which left more than 100 people dead and hundreds more wounded, and the accompanying violations, as it provided for the formation of an independent national committee of inquiry with African support, where appropriate, at the discretion of the National Committee to conduct a transparent and thorough investigation into the violations which took place on June 3, and events and incidents in which violations of the rights and dignity of citizens, civilians or military personnel took place, within a month from the date of approving the appointment of the Prime Minister and whose mandate includes guarantees independence and full powers to investigate.

Independent judiciary

On the obstacle of immunity of the members of the Sovereign Council, which was the subject of controversy between the parties to the negotiations in the past period, there has been consensus in the Constitutional Declaration on procedural immunity to the members of the Sovereign Council and the state rulers, which shall be lifted by the Legislative Council.

The declaration pointed out that the judiciary shall be an independent authority with jurisdiction in the state and the Constitutional Court shall be independent from the judiciary and competent to see and adjudicate.

The regular forces, according to the text of the declaration, include both the armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia, a national institution that protects the unity and sovereignty of the homeland and shall be subject to the decisions of the sovereign and executive authority in accordance with the law.

The police and security forces shall be responsible for maintaining security and safety of the community and subject to the policies and decisions of the sovereign and executive authority in accordance with the law.

The General Civil Service shall administer the state authority to implement the plans and programmes of the executive authority in accordance with the law.

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