Sudan’s military and opposition agree on joint council

Protesters chant as they gather near the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on Saturday [Omer Erdem/Anadolu]

Sudan’s ruling military council and the opposition alliance have reached an agreement in principle to form a new body to run the country until the next election.

The agreement was reached during a meeting on Saturday between the ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) and the Declaration of Freedom and Changes Forces, an umbrella organisation of opposition groups.

Though there is still a lot of discord and disagreement between the two sides. The military wants 10 members on this council, three of them civilian, seven of them military. The opposition want the council to be made up of 15 members, eight of them civilians and seven people from the military.

More details are yet to be ironed out.

Shams Eldin Kabashi, the spokesperson for the military council, said that the “talks started with high spirits and great transparency”.
“Talks will continue and we are optimistic on reaching a final result that we can announce to the Sudanese people as soon as possible”.

After the fall of President Omar al-Bashir on March 11, following months of popular demonstrations against his 30-year rule, the MTC is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold presidential elections.

Act with wisdom, not tension’

Opposition groups and protesters, however, have continued to stage large demonstrations to demand that the ruling military council hand over power to a civilian administration.

On Saturday the protesters clashed with members of the Popular Congress Party of late opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi outside a meeting in Khartoum, leaving 65 party members injured.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese opposition has rejected an African Union move to give the ruling military council a three-month deadline for handing power over to a civil administration.

“Sudanese don’t need the recommendation of African Union,” said Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the National Umma Party.

Speaking in a press conference in Khartoum, al-Mahdi called on the MTC “to act with wisdom, not tension”.

“We hope that the civilian authority in the transition period will organize national, economic and international conferences”, he added.

Al-Mahdi stressed that the transitional period must follow free elections.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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