Military and pro-democracy leaders sign deal paving way to elections in Sudan

Military and pro-democracy leaders sign deal paving way to elections in Sudan
Military and pro-democracy leaders sign deal paving way to elections in Sudan 5 December 2022 12:09 PM: Sudan's ruling generals and the country's main pro-democracy group have signed a framework deal aimed at transitioning towards elections following last year's military coup.

Monday's deal pledges to establish a new, civilian-led transitional government to guide Sudan to elections.

But the deal has been opposed by protest groups that are against negotiations with the military, and by Islamist factions loyal to the regime of former leader Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in 2019.

Under the framework agreement, the military - which has led the government since the October 2021 coup - promised to step back from politics, agreeing it would only be represented on a security and defence council headed by a prime minister.

The framework deal did not include a date for a final agreement or a deadline for the appointment of a prime minister, and did not address thornier issues including transitional justice and security sector reform.

The agreement was signed by Sudan's ruling generals and the leaders of the country's largest pro-democracy group, Forces of Freedom and Change.

After signing the deal at the presidential palace, military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said civilian control of politics must be respected.

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Signatories applauded when he repeated a slogan used by protesters to call for the army to exit politics: "Soldiers to the barracks."

In response to the signing, leaders of the pro-democracy Resistance Committee called for demonstrations against the agreement.


Image: Protesters march during a rally against signed a framework deal in Sudan.

Talks leading to the framework deal have been facilitated by the United Nations, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

The UN's special envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, attended Monday's signing and described the deal as "Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led".

"I hope that this agreement will pave the way for the quick formation of a civilian government that can tackle the security, humanitarian and economic situation," he told the signing ceremony.

The deal will hope to draw in new international aid, after donor funds dried up in response to the coup.

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