Sources: An expected agreement between the Sudanese army and civilians to share power

Sudan’s military and politicians are close to a new power-sharing agreement, as international efforts intensify to prevent a military takeover of power, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the talks.

A United Nations spokesman said that negotiations between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and former rebel groups and ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok continued, on Tuesday, in the capital, Khartoum. 

According to sources quoted by the agency, although progress has been made in the talks, the main differences remain. 

On October 25, a “military force” arrested Hamdok and many of his ministers before the army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced the dissolution of the transitional government institutions that were formed in partnership between the army and civilians after the overthrow of the regime of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, following a five-year uprising. Months.

Hamdok was returned home the next day but was placed under house arrest.

“Greater Powers for Hamdok”

The agency quoted diplomats as saying that Al-Burhan believes that the presence of Hamdok, who is still under house arrest, in the new government he wants to form, is “a key to gaining credibility on the street.” 

One of the proposals under discussion is “giving Hamdok greater powers but with a new government that is more acceptable to the military,” said sources who asked not to be named. 

The sources indicated that this proposal includes “that the army be responsible for the security and defense councils of the government under the agreement,” adding that “the formation of a new sovereign council, the highest executive body headed by Al-Burhan until the announcement of his dissolution, is still under discussion.” 

Agency sources explain that the reason for the dispute between the army and politicians lies over ministerial appointments and the formation of the government. 

A statement published by the article, the Sudanese Ministry of Information, said that Hamdok insists that the solution to the crisis is the release of all detainees and the return of his government to its work, and that he will not recognize the decisions of the coup leaders.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday to demand an end to military rule and the return of a civilian-led government. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said that three protesters were shot dead by security forces, bringing the death toll since October 25 to 15.

While “Bloomberg” indicated that an agreement “remains elusive”, the United Nations Special Representative, Volker Perthes, said on Monday that “the features of the deal will become visible” in the coming days.

“Many of our interlocutors in Khartoum, but also at the international and regional levels, are very expressive of their desire to move quickly out of the crisis and return to normal,” Perthes said from Khartoum during a video conference.

On Sunday, the United Nations envoy to Sudan met Hamdok, and wrote on Twitter that he discussed “mediation options and the future of Sudan.”

Perthes stressed the need to return to “the stages of political transition as we witnessed before October 25.”

Army representatives did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.

But the former chief of staff of the Sudanese army, Imad Adawi, told Bloomberg Agency from Cairo after being briefed by senior military leaders about the talks: “I think they will come to a conclusion very soon. There are many mediators, including Sudanese and South Sudanese actors and countries. Africa and the United Nations.

The US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said on Tuesday from Washington that the army knows that supporting Sudan’s economic development and debt relief, as well as funding from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, depends on restoring the democratic path.

Feltman confirmed that he was surprised by the army’s decisions, which were taken hours after he left Sudan in light of his attempt to reform military-civil relations.

He said that “the military in Sudan negotiated with me before their actions in bad faith more than they lied to me,” stressing that “civilians should not try to marginalize the military, and the military should not marginalize civilians and hijack the transitional process.” 

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