Sudan: Agreement On Transitional Government

After weeks of interrupted but heated talks, the ruling Sudanese military council and civil society leaders late on May 13, 2019 announced they had reached agreement on the formation of a transitional government, Radio France International, RFI, reported. The agreement concerns how the country will be managed until elections are held in two or four years’ time.

Further negotiations between the military and civilians on the transition timetable were due to hold on May 14, 2019 in the capital, Khartoum. Reports said agreeing on the deal was not easy because civil society leaders insisted on leading the transition, while military officers were determined to oversee activities of the government and also ensure that Sharia remains the basic source of the country’s laws.

The Sovereign Council, as the future transitional government will be known, will include civilian and military members. However, details of its composition and the duration of the transition are still to be worked out. “We agreed on the structure of authorities and their powers,” protest movement spokesman Taha Osman told news agencies.

“There will be a sovereign council, cabinet and legislative body,” he announced. The military council also confirmed that a deal on a transitional power structure had been reached. The duration of the transition and make-up of the three bodies have been major sticking points in talks between the two sides over the past month. While military officers insisted that the transition should last two years, protesters wanted it to be for four years.

Meanwhile, shooting broke out at night on May 13, 2019 at a sit-in outside military headquarters in Khartoum where demonstrators have for weeks been demanding a full civilian government. Seven people were reportedly shot dead by men dressed in military fatigues, but the army blamed the killings on “unidentified elements.”

In another development, Sudan’s Public Prosecutor on May 13, 2019 charged ousted President Omar al-Bashir with incitement and involvement in the killing a doctor during protests that led to the end of al-Bashir’s rule last month. Bashir is also facing in vestigation over allegations of money laundering and terror-financing. Protests started in December 2018 against al-Bashir’s decision to triple the price of bread, but soon morphed into widespread anger against his 30year rule.

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