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Sudan’s military and civilian leaders signed a preliminary agreement on Monday aimed at ending a deep crisis gripping the northeast African country since a coup a year ago.
military general abdel fatah al-burhan seized power in October 2021, derailing a rocky transition to civilian rule that began after the ousted autocrat experienced in 2019 Omar al-Bashir,
The past year has seen almost weekly protests and pro-democracy medics say at least 121 people have died, an economic crisis and a rise in ethnic violence in several remote areas.
Divisions between civilian groups have deepened since the coup, with some urging a deal with the military while others insisting on “no partnership, no talks”.
Monday’s deal was signed by Burhan, paramilitary commander Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo and several civilian groups, most notably the Force for Freedom and Change – the main civilian faction that was ousted in the coup.
The deal – based on a proposal by the Sudanese Bar Association – was negotiated in the presence of officials United Nationsalong with western diplomats Saudi Arab And this United Arab EmiratesAccording to FFC.
The signing was attended by UN Special Representative Volker Perthes and AU Ambassador Mohamed Belash.
In the first phase, “the framework agreement lays the groundwork for the establishment of a transitional civil authority,” the FFC said, noting that other civil groups also signed on.
A final deal dealing with issues including transitional justice and reform of the military should be reached “within weeks”.
However, the part has been much more thorny, with observers questioning whether the military would be prepared to give up economic interests and sweeping powers in what it sees as its privileged domain.
The first phase of the deal is “a very low-level commitment on the part of Burhan … allowing him to survive politically”, said Khalud Khair, founder of Confluence Advisory, a Khartoum-based think-tank.
But the signatories “will face a real political crisis before they start talking seriously about security sector reform, transitional justice (and) financial accountability,” she said.
Monday’s signing comes months after Burhan pledged that the military would split and pave the way for the factions to agree on a civilian government.
Supporter-Democracy Activists reject the latest attempt and are calling for fresh street protests demanding a military return to the barracks.
many former rebels who signed peace accord with Sudan In 2020 also raised voice against the deal.
Mohammad Zakaria, a spokesman for the former rebel group Justice and Equality Movement, told AFP it would “bring about serious consequences and further complicate the political landscape”.