Sudan junta and civilians sign power-sharing deal

Sudanese deputy chief of the ruling military council Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (R) and a protest leader (L) sign an agreement before AU and Ethiopian mediators in Khartoum early on July 17, 2019.Image copyright

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A protest leader, left, and a military chief, right, signed the agreement in front of mediators

Sudan’s ruling military council and opposition leaders have signed a power-sharing accord after all-night talks.

It is a “historic moment” for the country, the deputy head of Sudan’s ruling military council, Mohamed Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo, is quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

Sudan has been in turmoil since the military ousted President Omar al-Bashir in April.

Protesters have been demanding the military hand power to civilians.

The signing of the document appears to confirm an agreement made in principle earlier this month.

That agreement laid out a plan rotate control of the sovereign council – the top tier of power – for just over three years.

It said the military would be in charge for the first 21 months, then a civilian-run administration would take over the following 18 months, followed by elections.

A second agreement on constitutional issues is expected to be finalised on Friday.

How significant is this deal?

By Tomi Oladipo, BBC Africa security correspondent

After months of on-and-off talk, the two sides have finally signed a deal. That is notable in itself.

The agreement means that after 30 years of military rule, Sudan is now three years away from a fully civilian administration – in theory.

The finer details of the deal and its constitutional elements have not been agreed upon. There is still a “sovereign council” to be appointed to lead the country through its transition.

However some among the protesting masses might feel that they’ve got the short end of the stick.

The very military they challenged – and under whom they suffered pain and death on the streets – remains in power for now and will lead the interim government initially. The generals could possibly secure immunity from prosecution.

Justice in the eyes of the protesters will not have been served yet, but their chants for the fall of the regime have ushered in this new phase.

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