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Sudan: civil society and military agree framework for political process

November 17, 2022 at 2:34 pm

A Sudanese man wears the national flag in Khartoum, Sudan on 22 January 2019 [STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images]

Civil society groups in Sudan have announced that a deal has been agreed with the military on a framework for the political process to take the country forward, Anadolu has reported. The leader of the Forces of Freedom and Change, Al-Wathiq Al-Barir, told journalists in Khartoum that the framework agreement “ends the coup and completes the mission of the September revolution.”

The process will be divided into two stages, explained Al-Barir. “The first is the framework agreement stage, based on the understandings of freedom and change, the military component and the parties of the transitional forces regarding the draft of the lawyers’ constitution.”

The second and final stage will see the framework agreement developed by focusing on four main issues: transitional justice, security and military reform, peace completion, and the dismantling of the 30 June, 1989 regime of ousted President Omar Al-Bashir.

“The draft constitution of the Sudanese Lawyers’ Committee produced understandings that can be built on towards a credible political process that fulfils the demands of the December revolution and the signing of a constitutional framework agreement,” said Al-Barir.

The Sudanese Bar Association’s Steering Committee handed over a draft transitional constitution to the tripartite mechanism of the UN, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in September, and received a lot of international and local support. The draft includes details of the nature of the state, the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law, the document of fundamental rights and freedoms, the tasks of the transitional period, the federal system of government, and the structures and composition of the transitional authority.

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“We are facing a complex political process that must fulfil the hopes and aspirations of our people,” said the leader of Freedom and Change, Yasser Arman. “The political process became possible after the military accepted the Lawyers’ Committee draft constitution and submitted observations. Discussions are currently underway until we reach a framework agreement.” He added that no final agreement will be signed until after the participation of the forces of the revolution and the forces that support the democratic transition.

The President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, announced exceptional measures last October, according to which the Sovereignty Council and the Transitional Ministers’ Council were dissolved. A state of emergency was declared, officials and politicians were arrested, and conservative governors were dismissed. Ever since, Sudan has witnessed popular protests calling for the return of civilian rule and rejecting the measures that Al-Burhan’s opponents describe as a “military coup”.

Prior to October 2021, Sudan had been living for two years in a transitional period that was supposed to end with elections in early 2024. The transition saw power shared by the army and civil society forces, as well as armed movements that signed a peace agreement with the government in 2020.