Sudan forces read from different scripts

Saturday August 10 2019

Sudan protest leader Ahmed Rabie and General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

Sudan protest leader Ahmed Rabie and General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, Sudan's deputy head of the Transitional Military Council, shake hands after signing the constitutional declaration at a ceremony attended by African Union and Ethiopian mediators in the capital Khartoum on August 4, 2019. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP 

FRED OLUOCH
By FRED OLUOCH
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The transitional government is almost taking shape in Sudan but the process is facing challenges due to vested interests and parties constantly changing positions.

After the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) signed an agreement in Addis Ababa, some political parties and armed have back-tracked and rejected the Constitutional Declaration.

Some forces within the opposition are bent on scuttling any form of agreement while those that maintained former president Omar al-Bashir in power for 30 years are fighting back.

Dr Hassan Abedelati, the Secretary General of the Sudanese National Civic Forum told The EastAfrican that the issue of which posts go where is a matter of concern but the civil society is working on a structured dialogue to calm tensions and negative attitudes.

First it was the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) led by Malik Agar, Minni Minawi and Jibril Ibrahim who rejected the Constitutional Declaration on grounds that both it and the political agreement were signed without including the vision of complete peace in the documents and without full compliance with what was agreed upon in the Addis Ababa consultations.

“The Sudan Revolutionary Front cannot accept the Constitutional Declaration in its current form because it has gone beyond the central principles of the peace process and has put obstacles in the way of implementing any future peace agreement by defining its ceiling within the framework of the Constitutional Declaration itself,” they said in a statement.

This was followed by the Sudanese Communist Party objecting to the executive powers of the Sovereignty Council, which includes five members of the junta accused of killing civilians.

However, the Communist Party said their rejection of the agreement will not prevent them from participating in the transitional parliament or abandon the FCC.

“The challenge is that some people are assuming that the current set up is empowered to give posts. That will be the work of the transitional government,” said Dr Abedelati, who accused SRF of trying to rock the boat and yet they were part of the negotiations throughout.

According to the agreement, 67 per cent of the seats in parliament will go to the FCC while the remaining 33 per cent will be allocated to opposition groups that are not members of the opposition coalition but took part in the revolution that toppled al-Bashir’s government in April.

All the political groups that were allied to al-Bashir’s National Congress Party will not be represented in the transitional assembly which will be formed within three months.

The National Umma Party (NUP)—one the oldest parties led by former prime minister Sadique Al-Mahdi—has to amend the Constitutional Declaration to incorporate what was agreed with the SRF.

After months of demonstrations and violence that started in December last year, Sudan is moving towards a transitional civilian government and a parliament that will govern for three years under the supervision of a joint civilian-military ruling body.

The deal will be formally signed on August 17. A prime minister will be named on August 20 and cabinet members on Augusts 28. The transitional period will last 39 months from the signing of the constitutional declaration.

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