Sudan is preparing for a new phase of civilian rule

Sudan is preparing for a new phase of civilian rule

Sudan is preparing for a new phase of civilian rule

The presidential palace is preparing to sign a political agreement with international and regional presence tomorrow

The Sudanese capital Khartoum is preparing to sign the “framework agreement” between the army leaders and the country’s main opposition coalition, “Freedom and Change,” tomorrow (Monday) amid a large international and regional presence from the Republican Palace. Political parties from outside of “Freedom and Change” will join the signing, but they support the process of conversion to a democratic civil system, while some armed movements affiliated with the “Juba Peace” Accord will not sign, of which the most important are the “Justice and Equality” movement, led by the current Finance Minister Jibril Ibrahim, and the “Sudan Liberation Movement”. » Led by the Governor of the Darfur region, Minni Arko Minawi.

The announcement of the Sovereignty Council’s signing of the deal came after a meeting late Friday evening attended by the Sovereignty Council’s chairman, the army commander, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy, the Sovereignty Commander’s “rapid support forces.” ”, Lt. Gen. Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti”, with leaders The political forces signing the political declaration, in the presence of representatives of the international “trilateral mechanism” and ambassadors of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Great Britain as well as ambassadors from the countries of the European Union.

Yesterday’s march by al-Bashir supporters demanded the expulsion of the UN mission (AFP)

Declaration of the Sovereignty Council

The agreement to be signed ends a political crisis lasting more than a year, left by the army’s seizure of power on October 25, 2021, the declaration of a state of emergency, the dissolution of the civilian government and the arrest of some political leaders, leaving the country during this Time lived without a government while the army ran things, despite Sudan’s severe economic deterioration and isolation from international financial institutions. The “framework agreement” paves the way for the formation of a new civilian government with independent competences that will manage the transition period of 24 months from the signing of the agreement to the holding of elections for the transition to a parliamentary-democratic system.

The meeting on Friday evening confirmed that the political framework agreement provides a basis for resolving the current political crisis in the country, based on the agreements reached between the military and civilian party, according to a statement by the Sovereignty Council. The meeting ended with the dialogue remaining open to the participation of the other agreed parties to develop it in the second phase, which will end with the signing of a final agreement and transitional constitutional arrangements within a few weeks in preparation for the establishment of the civilian government that will establish the phase of transition and will lead to free and fair elections in which the Sudanese people will decide who will govern them. The statement also noted that the Sudanese parties agreed that the framework agreement would be signed on Monday with international, regional and local presence in preparation for a new phase the country is looking forward to.

For their part, spokesmen for the “Freedom and Change” coalition said that the political framework agreement establishes a genuine transitional civilian authority that will “assume the burdens of implementing the goals of the December (December) 2018 revolution and the immediately following phase of completing the details of some issues related to the Drafting the transitional constitution.” The coalition reiterated the call for the broad participation of what it called “the forces of revolution and interest groups” to unite and organize their ranks to contribute to a sustainable civil-democratic transition.

Armed Movements

In parallel, on Friday evening, at the home of Saudi Ambassador to Khartoum Ali bin, a meeting between the Central Council of the Freedom and Change Coalition and the Democratic Bloc, which includes groups opposed to “Freedom and Change”, failed to Hassan Jaafar, as a Central Council group, apologized for attending the meeting because of what she called the “presence of undesirable people in the Democratic Bloc.”

The meeting was scheduled to be attended by the Freedom and Change Secretary-General of the Umma party, the country’s largest party, Al-Wathiq Al-Barir, as well as the Sudanese Congress party leader, Khaled Omar Youssef, who presented the position of the Minister for Presidential Affairs in the previous civilian government led by Abdullah Hamdok, who was dismissed by the army. As for the ‘Democratic Bloc’, to which the armed movements belong, the head of the ‘Liberation Movement of Sudan’, Minni Arko Minawi, and the head of the ‘Justice and Equality’ movement, Jibril Ibrahim, were scheduled to take part.

Al-Barir said: “We agreed to a Saudi initiative to meet Jibril and Minawi, but we were surprised by the presence of parties unrelated to the civil-democratic transformation path.” For his part, Minawi warned against signing of the framework agreement, saying: “The agreement is being forced on us against our will before we sit down and discuss it with the various parties, except for the isolated National Congress Party (former President Omar al-Bashir’s party).” Jibril Ibrahim also announced in a press conference that evening that they reject any “bilateral agreement” between the army and the “Freedom and Change” coalition.

Security and Defense Council.

The signing ceremony of the agreement will be held by military and civilian leaders at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum with the participation of the “tripartite mechanism” comprising the United Nations, the African Union, the African Intergovernmental Organization for Development (IGAD), and Western and Arab diplomatic missions.

According to the “Framework Agreement”, the leaders of the army and the rapid support forces will permanently withdraw from political action, but participate with representatives in the “Security and Defense Council”, whose tasks and powers will be defined according to the interim constitution and under the leadership of the civilian Prime Minister, elected by the political forces that signed the Constitutional Declaration. The agreement also stipulates that the head of state must be a civilian who also directs the armed forces and rapid support forces. The agreement prohibits the formation of military or paramilitary militias.

The agreement also provided for the reform of the security and military authorities and the merger of the “rapid support forces” and the armies of the armed movements into a single national professional army, subject to the reform program in the interim constitution being agreed by the military leadership. It was also agreed to dismantle and liquidate the isolated al-Bashir regime while respecting the rule of law and fundamental rights.

Deferred Issues

However, the “Framework Agreement” deferred the resolution of 4 issues to allow for further discussion on them with broad public participation and stakeholders to reach consensus on them and include them in the final agreement. These issues are: the Transitional Justice Acts, the Security and Military Reform Acts, an assessment and rectification of the Juba Peace Accord, and an attempt to expand the peace process by including the non-Juba Accord movements to to catch up with the peace process.

On Thursday, European Union envoy to the Horn of Africa Annette Weber, speaking at a meeting with Sovereignty Council leader Lt. Gen. Al-Burhan, said the formation of a government in the near future would result in a renewal of the Union’s commitment to Sudan to support.

In a statement from the Sovereignty Council, Weber was quoted as saying: “We look forward to the next step in forming a government that will encourage the European Union to provide support to meet the needs of the Sudanese people.” She added: ” Forming a government in the near future will allow us to renew the European Union’s commitment to supporting Sudan and allow us to work side by side to build Sudan’s future.”

Meanwhile, supporters of the isolated regime and its allies organized a march in front of the UN mission headquarters in the Khartoum suburb of Al-Manshiya to express their opposition to the current political solution and also to protest what they called “foreign interference”. into the affairs of Sudan.” The same group had held similar processions in recent weeks for the same reasons, and they say the current political settlement has been imposed on Sudan by foreign parties.

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