In what some people have called a historic moment, Sudan’s ruling military council and opposition leaders have signed a power-sharing accord, following weeks of turbulence negotiations.
The political deadlock started after the country’s former dictator Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in April. The agreement was signed on behalf of the military junta by the deputy head of Sudan’s ruling military council, Mohamed Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo. Although, the constitutional declaration of the agreement is expected to be signed on Friday, our sources intimated. According to the deal, the three-year power-sharing government will be made up of 11-members mainly, six civilians, including five from the protest umbrella movement, and five military representatives.
The new ruling government will rule the country until the national elections, takes place in three years. According to the agreement, the first 21 months of the transition of the power-sharing government will be headed by a general, while a civilian takes over the leadership for the remaining 18 months. If well implemented, the agreement will in three years, pave way for the civilian regime after 30 years of military rule.
Although the present agreement is not entirely a full-fledged civilian rule the protesters in Sudan and the Diaspora are demanding for, it is much better than a full military regime, which has been the major part of Sudan’s history. Many see the present power-sharing agreement as the first step towards a fully democratic rule in Sudan.
However, the agreement does not take care of certain sensitive issues like the roles of the sovereign council and the cabinet. Furthermore, another core issue like immunity is still not addressed. While the military wants immunity for members of the sovereign and the executive council, the opposition civilians ( the FFC) does not want any compromise on that. The latter demands justice and accountability for atrocities committed by individuals. This is one of the most important demands of the protesters on the street. Therefore, if the civilian leaders would compromise on that dicey issue, they will automatically lose the support of the protesters on the streets of Sudan.
It remains to be seen whether the power-sharing government will lead to a democratic civilian government. Some have welcomed the agreement, albeit with scepticism. They argue that the military brass, which is under incredible pressure to give up power after the fall of the Bashir’s regime only wants to sign and circumvent the agreement to enable it to cling on to power later. Regardless, there is no doubt that the present agreement is a step in the right direction.
It is now left for the two parties involved to show the world that they indeed want the interest of Sudan above personal aggrandisement. The coming months will determine where Sudan will be heading to – back to dictatorship or forward to a new democratic Sudan.