Sudan military council to reach final deal with opposition

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) agreed the country’s transition period would last for three years.

By Sohaila Barghash

On Wednesday, a member of the military council announced a final deal on the transition would be reached within 24 hours.

Furthermore, according to Lieutenant General Yasser al-Atta’s statement, DFCF will have two-thirds of the seats on a transitional legislative council, while the rest of the seats will be taken by parties that are not part of the alliance.

Satea al-Hajj, a DFCF member, said, “the viewpoints are close and, God willing, we will reach an agreement soon” on the formation of a new sovereign council that would lead the country up until elections take place.

On Tuesday, Sudanese protestors blocked main roads in the capital city of Khartoum against the continuing army-led control of the transitional government.

Sudan’s opposition alliance blamed the military rulers for this renewed street violence, which makes it harder to negotiate a handover of power to civilians after last month’s overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir.

However, according to Madani Abbas Madani, a DFCF figure, it is “abundantly clear that there are counter-revolutionary forces who are naturally displeased with any progress in negotiations”.

Speaking to a news conference alongside Atta, Madani said the TMC had formed a committee to investigate the targeting of protestersm while a joint committee was set up with DFCF to thwart any attempt to break up a sit-in at the Defence Ministry.

Although paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) patrolled the streets using tear gas and guns to disrupt demonstrations on Monday, during which 5 were killed, the protesters were back on Tuesday.

Protesters blocked roads and bridges with bricks and rocks in effort to keep pressure on the military for a swift handover.

Khalid Omar Youssef, a senior figure in the DFCF, said in a news conference, “The bullets that were fired yesterday were Rapid Support Forces bullets and we hold the military council responsible for what happened yesterday”.

The United States backed the opposition alliance and blamed the military for Monday’s chaos after their attempt to remove roadblocks set up by protesters.

The US Embassy in Khartoum stated, “The decision by security forces to escalate the use of force, including the unnecessary use of tear gas, led directly to the unacceptable violence later in the day that the TMC was unable to control.”

A hospital in Khartoum said it received more than 60 wounded on Monday as well as three dead bodies.

Furthermore, Amar Abu Bakr, executive director of the Moalem Medical City Hospital said that among the arrivals were people with gunshot wounds in the shoulder, chest and other body parts.

Adding, “There are also a number of wounds resulting from sharp objects, and others from beatings by sticks.”

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