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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Military Junta, Opposition Agree on Three-Year Transition Period in Sudan

KHARTOUM – The military junta ruling Sudan and an opposition protest movement, the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, agreed early on Wednesday a three-year transition period for the east African country and said that the “final agreement” would be announced in less than 24 hours.

Yasser Atta, a member of the Transitional Military Council that has ruled since long-time president Omar al-Bashir was overthrown last month, told a joint press conference that they had “agreed on a transitional period of three years” and that “the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people’s aspirations.”

He said that the first six months of the transitional period would be “allocated to signing peace accords with rebels in the country’s war zones like Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.”

These three regions have been the scene of armed clashes between rebels and the national army for years, although violence has decreased in recent years.

Darfur has been the most affected by the conflicts, which caused nearly 300,000 deaths and forced 2.7 million people to leave their communities since 2003, according to the United Nations.

Atta said that they agreed to transfer the power to the so-called “sovereign council,” which will govern Sudan until elections are held.

The spokesman of the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, Madani Abbas, confirmed in statements to the press that the duration of the transition period would be three years and that the final agreement between the parties will be announced within 24 hours.

He said that the parliament would consist of 300 members, of which 67 percent will be from the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, with the other 33 percent coming from other groups.

Abbas said that negotiations would resume later on Wednesday, when they plan to announce the final agreement following talks to oversee the transition from the military to civilian rule after al-Bashir, who had been in power for 30 years, was overthrown by the junta on April 11.

The opposition said they have agreed to form a committee to investigate what happened on Tuesday night, after an armed group allegedly attacked the square where protesters have gathered since April to demand the end of al-Bashir’s reign and the transition to civil rule.

Tuesday’s attack that left at least five protesters and one security official dead led to some fears that the negotiations between the parties would be delayed or even frozen.

The protesters, who began marches in December to call for the overthrow of al-Bashir, have not been assuaged by the junta and insist on a transition to a full civilian government.


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