Sudan – Military, Protest Leaders Sign Historic Transition Deal

Sudanese pro-democracy supporters celebrate a the signing of a final power-sharing pact with the ruling military council on Aug 17, 2019, in Khartoum.

Eight months after mass protests erupted, the main opposition coalition and the ruling military council have signed a final deal for a transitional government. If it works, Sudan could return to civilian rule in 3 years.

Sudan’s ruling military council and the main opposition coalition on Saturday inked a final agreement for a transitional government.

The Constitutional Declaration, which was reached on August 4, paves the way for a return to civilian rule following the military overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April.

The historic deal was signed during a ceremony at a hall by the River Nile in the capital Khartoum, witnessed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, and the heads of other neighboring countries.

The military and the main opposition alliance, known as the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), have been negotiating the power-sharing agreement for months.

The composition of the civilian-majority transition ruling council, which will consist of 11 members, is to be announced on Sunday.

On Thursday, former senior United Nations official Abdalla Hamdok, a veteran economist, was designated as transitional prime minister.

His first job will be to try to stabilize Sudan’s languishing economy, left in tatters in 2011 when the oil-rich south gained its independence.

Sudan’s stability is seen as crucial for a volatile region struggling with conflict and insurgencies from the Horn of Africa to Egypt and Libya.

But skeptics question whether the ruling council will be able to keep a tight grip on the military’s power during the three-year period leading to planned elections.

(AFP, AP, Reuters)