Sudan Military Council Opposition Reach Power-Sharing Agreement

The mediators said progress had been made on Thursday by ruling military leaders and opposition protest groups in their efforts to create a period of transition to democracy in Sudan. Protesters accuse the Military Council and paramilitary rapid support forces (RSF), whose leader, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, is the most prominent member of the Council for violence. KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan`s ruling military council and a coalition of opposition and protest groups tentatively agreed on Friday to split power for three years and take thousands of people to the streets to welcome a first step toward the end of decades of dictatorship. But negotiations failed when a military intervention on 3 June claimed the lives of dozens of protesters. Doctors said 40 bodies had been removed from the Nile. Sudan`s main opposition coalition and the ruling Military Council have signed a final power-sharing agreement, paving the way for a transitional government following the fall of long-time head of state Omar al-Bashir. A sensitive point for some people is that the army will first choose the head of the Sovereign Council. A few days before the announcement of the transitional agreement, huge crowds took to the streets to demand that the ruling Military Council hand over power to a civilian government. The authority is led by a military leader for the first 21 months, and then a civilian leader would take over for 18 months. After that, democratic elections will be held. The Sovereign Council will consist of five military and five civilian leaders, as well as another civilian, chosen and agreed by both groups. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which have close ties to the Military Council, welcomed the power-sharing agreement. But the position has the potential to make or break the agreement.

There are also concerns about the ambition of Lt-Gen Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo. The number two of the Military Council leads the fearsome Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group accused of brutality. News of the deal would have triggered hectic street parties. “Because until June 30, the Military Council has shown that there has been brutality against protesters, people have died, people have been injured, and we have thought, maybe it will never happen, maybe we will never reach an agreement.” Relations between Bashir`s successor military council and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance collapsed when security forces emptied dozens of men when they evacuated a sit-in on 3 June. However, after massive protests against the army on Sunday, African mediators negotiated a return to direct talks. Both sides agreed to change control over the Sovereign Council – the top level of power – for just over three years. Ahmadi added that the decision to leave the army at the helm was a betrayal of the objectives of the protest movement that has committed itself to democracy and civil domination. Lately, he has spoken openly to tribal elders and foreign leaders and created a Canadian society to illustrate the image of the military. Many were unaware of the details of the deal due to an Internet cut ordered by the military last month, and the FFC held public meetings Friday night to disseminate information about the deal. Those who negotiated the agreement said that despite some of these concerns, they believed in the agreement. “It`s a difficult road, but we`ve tried to convince our people that it`s a success and we think it will pave the way for the end of any military regime in Sudan,” Siddig Yousif, one of the main negotiators, told the BBC.