Reuters: Draft Sudan deal seeks to cement military’s grip

Reuters reported that factions allied with the army in Sudan have reached an agreement to form a transitional government that would consolidate the army’s control and bypass the pro-democracy groups which the army had shared power with before the October coup.

AlTaghyeer: Agencies

The news comes according to a document seen by Reuters and three sources familiar with the deal.

Three sources from the groups that support the draft agreement told Reuters that the draft received support from some political parties allied with the army, ex-rebels who had signed the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement, and some tribal and religious leaders in Sudan.

A fourth source more familiar with the discussions about the agreement said that the agreement was drafted by politicians close to the army, and that the agreement had already been accepted by the army.

The agreement includes some steps the military had already indicated it was going to take, such as appointing a technocratic government and parliament to rule until next year’s election period, and nominating judicial bodies and an election commission.

It also raises the status of the army as the supreme authority in Sudan, diverging from the power-sharing clause in the constitutional declaration that remained a point of reference even after the coup.

Reuters stated that army representatives had declined to comment on the matter.

The political parties that strongly supported the 2019 uprising and the neighborhood resistance committees spearheading the currently ongoing protests have publicly refused dialogue with the military, demanding that it withdraw itself completely from politics.

The three sources told Reuters that the army was still seeking to expand support for the draft agreement by cozying up to the two largest traditional parties in Sudan, the Democratic Unionist Party and the Umma Party, or simply just “factions within the two parties.”

Army chief Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan had met last week with the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party,  Muhammad Othman Al-Mirghani, during a visit to Cairo.

The Democratic Unionist Party also held a conference in the Egyptian capital, overseeing a “unity pact signing” that was attended by a group of federal parties that had participated Omar al-Bashir’s ousted regime.

The draft agreement, as per Reuters, also states that political prisoners will be released as a confidence-building measure; a pledge made before in a short-term deal made one month after the coup with the goal of restoring Abdallah Hamdok as Prime Minister.

Among those currently detained are leaders of the Forces of Freedom and Change coalition who had shared power with the army before the coup, and people involved with the Empowerment Removal Committee.

The agreement also orders a review of the work of the Empowerment Removal Committee, a process that al-Burhan had already begun, in which many people who were recently dismissed from their work by the committee have been reinstated by court order to positions in state media, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and other institutions.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which led the anti-Bashir protests, had warned on Tuesday that the dissolved and banned National Congress Party had begun holding its meetings again and reorganizing itself.

The army, which said that political infighting was a major cause of the military coup, had repeatedly stated that all groups, except for the National Congress Party, were free to participate in the transition and elections.

The draft agreement comes at a time when the army is under immense pressure caused by the deteriorating economic situation in Sudan and the recurrent protests that continue despite the deadly crackdown by the security forces.

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