Source: Sudan Tribune

Burhan, Hemetti differ on coup assessment but back Sudan’s framework agreement

December 5, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese army, on Monday defended the coup of October 25, 2021, saying that it was not a mistake because it achieved its desired purpose: broadening political participation during the transitional period.

Military leaders and 52 political and civilian leaders signed a political framework agreement on Monday paving the way to the establishment of a fully civilian government and ending the military coup that exacerbated the country’s political crisis and raised the pace of violence in Sudan.

After the signing ceremony, Burhan spoke to several TV channels, saying that the agreement led to bringing additional forces to participate in the transition, including the Popular Congress Party, the Democratic Unionist Party and Ansar al-Sunna, along with the forces of the 2019 revolution.

The military leader refused to admit that “the coup was a mistake” as his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo “Hemetti” said during the ceremony.

“Perhaps this is his point of view, but when we took this step, we were fully convinced of its necessity and importance, and its fruits are now a new constitutional agreement,” al-Burhan told Al-Hadath TV.

Hemetti in his speech confessed that “what happened on October 25 was a political mistake that opened the door for the return of the counter-revolutionary forces”. The leader of the para-military forces was alluding to the return to the Islamists of the former regime.

The audience applauded the Rapid Support Forces Commander when he said there is a need “to acknowledge and apologise for the violence and mistakes of the state towards (different) communities throughout various historical eras”.

Hemetti further stressed that the” withdrawal of the military establishment from politics is crucial for the establishment of a sustainable democratic regime,” triggering another round of applause.

The coup and the severe political crisis the country experienced impacted the political forces and the coup leaders alike. Splits and internal rifts took place among political and military forces.

Al-Burhan stressed that the government that would be formed under this agreement will be entirely civilian, including the commander-in-chief of the regular forces, who will be a civilian figure appointed on the recommendation of the armed forces.

He added that a law should define the relationship between the commander-in-chief and the regular forces.

He also underscored that the government should be formed by independent figures as long as the political forces have no electoral mandate.

“Now, no party has a mandate, so it is better for the government to be composed of independents without party affiliations.”

Nevertheless, he said he does not object to a political figure taking over as prime minister if the political forces agree on that.

He quickly added that the negotiators of the political parties committed themselves during the talks not to participate in the new government.

Refuseniks maybe Jealous

Commenting on the rejection of the framework agreement by some armed groups of the Juba peace agreement, al-Burhan said the peace pact ensures their participation in the government.

“I think that the distance between what is stipulated in this agreement and their visions and ideas is not far. So, the gap can be bridged and unite their efforts with the rest of their colleagues,” he said.

In his statements to SkyNews Arabia, al -Burhan was more explicit on the position of the armed groups that are now hostile to the deal.

He stressed that those who refuse to sign have other reasons that can be explained by competition and jealousy, adding that all the parties agree on the issues included in the framework agreement.

“The other party share the same vision agreed today,” he said referring to the non-signatory groups.

“But maybe there is a difference in the degree of representation, or in the individuals involved. “I don’t say it’s jealousy, but there is a desire to take over the leadership on one side, and this is detrimental to the political process and the future of the transitional period,” he emphasized.

Minni Minnawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement and Gibril Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement had called for the coup d’état and supported al-Burhan during the past year.

However, they diverged when the military leaders accepted the idea of negotiating with the FFC to restore an inclusive civilian transitional government.

Al-Burhan stressed the need to rise above partisan interests and to put the national interest first in order to implement a successful transition and achieve the desired political and economic reforms.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony, he also reiterated that the agreement aims to uphold the interest of the country and end the political turmoil.

Source: Bloomberg

Sudan Power-Sharing Deal Promises to Reverse Coup, Boost Economy

By Mohammed Alamin and Simon Marks

December 5, 2022, 10:15 AM UTCUpdated on

Sudan’s military leadership and political activists agreed a new framework for power-sharing aimed at ending the crisis caused by a 2021 coup that battered the economy and derailed a rare push for democracy in the Horn of Africa.

Representatives including army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan signed the pact at a ceremony Monday in the capital, Khartoum. Under the deal, civilians would appoint a prime minister and cabinet for a two-year transitional period, potentially curbing the military’s near-total control of resource-rich Sudan.

If successfully implemented, it could restore billions of dollars of Western financial help and speed large-scale investment from Gulf Arab nations including in ports and agriculture. But the pact faces opposition from several major activist groups that insist the military play no part in government.

Previous attempts at a joint military-civilian administration since the April 2019 overthrow of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir have faltered, culminating in a putsch last October that spurred mass protests in which security forces are accused of killing more than 100 people.

The so-called framework agreement pushes for the integration of the Rapid Support Forces, a pro-government militia, into Sudan’s army. It also lays out the terms to bring to justice perpetrators of unspecified previous crimes.

Bashir’s ouster ended three decades of Islamic rule and saw Sudanese authorities race to reverse the country’s pariah status, re-establish links the West and rebuild an economy shattered by sanctions and corruption. 

Rifts, however, soon developed between civilian politicians pushing for a full democratic transition and Sudan’s army, which controls swathes of industries and seemed reluctant to surrender the king-maker role it has held for much of the country’s six decades of independence.

The agreement followed weeks of US-brokered negotiations that saw the army and the RSF militia hold direct talks with members of the Forces for Freedom and Change, a coalition of activists and political groups.

The return of a civilian-led government may lead the US, World Bank and others to restore aid they’d suspended, as well as revive plans for Sudan to receive debt relief under an International Monetary Fund initiative.

Source: Al Jazeera

Protests as Sudan military, parties sign initial transition deal

Both sides agree on a plan for an eventual transition to civilian rule, but further talks are needed, and protesters say transitional justice must be included.

Published On 5 Dec 20225 Dec 2022

Sudan’s military and political parties have signed a framework deal that provides for a two-year, civilian-led transition towards elections and would end a standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

However, key dissenters, including anti-military protest groups and factions loyal to former leader Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019, oppose it.

The initial agreement signed on Monday would limit the military’s formal role to a security and defence council headed by a prime minister, but leaves sensitive issues including transitional justice and security sector reform for further talks.

The deal also stipulates that the military will form part of a new “security and defence council” under the appointed prime minister. The agreement also vows to unify Sudan’s armed forces and impose controls on military-owned companies.

It is the first of at least two planned accords and was signed by Sudan’s two ruling generals, Abdel-Fattah Burhan and Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, and the leaders from the country’s largest pro-democracy group, Forces of Freedom and Change, at the Republican Palace in Khartoum.

In response to the signing, the pro-democracy Resistance Committee leaders called for demonstrations against the agreement.

They believe that transitional justice and security sector reform must be included in any deal from the start.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from the Republican Palace, said that anti-military protesters say the deal “doesn’t meet their aspirations” and that they had been “excluded from the talks”.

Protests broke out in at least two areas of Khartoum before the signing ceremony at the presidential palace.

The United States and several other countries on Monday welcomed the signing of the deal.

The US, Norway, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom “welcome the agreement of an initial political framework,” a joint statement issued by the US State Department said.

The military has not appointed a new prime minister since last year’s coup, which halted a power-sharing arrangement between the military and the FFC.

The coup led to more than a year of mass protests against the military and the suspension of billions of dollars in international financial assistance, deepening an economic crisis.

Source: BBC

Sudan army unveil new deal to return civilian rule

Sudan's Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (C R) and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (C L) lift documents alongside civilian leaders
Image caption,Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (centre, right) has been in charge since Bashir was ousted

By Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa correspondent

Military leaders in Sudan have agreed to hand back power to civilian groups in a significant move to end the ongoing political crisis.

A transitional two-year period led by civilian leaders was agreed in a deal unveiled in the capital, Khartoum.

But pro-democracy protesters, who have been staging regular street protests against the army, have rejected it.

Sudan has been gripped by crisis since the army overthrew long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

After his removal in 2019, the military and civilian leaders, represented by a coalition called Forces of Freedom and Change, agreed to form a joint transitional government.

The uneasy union ended late last year when the military overthrew then Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

He was reinstated in office earlier this year but resigned following mass protests opposed to his power-sharing deal with the army.

On Monday, there were cheers in the presidential palace in Khartoum after the military generals and civilian leaders signed the latest deal.

Miltary leader Gen Abdel Fattah al-Buran appeared to share the audience sentiments when he repeated a popular revolutionary slogan: “The military belongs in the barracks.”

However, outside the fortified compound, pro-democracy protesters – mostly young women and men – held marches opposing the deal.

“Trust is broken. The military could do this again,” internationally acclaimed Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka told the BBC as he prepared to head out to protest.

“The biggest problem is that the leaders of the coup – al-Burhan, his deputy Hemeti – stay in power. People have been killed, injured, detained [for protesting] and they are going ahead without accountability.”

    Despite some reservations, Monday’s agreement, though still short on details, is seen as an initial step to find a solution to the political crisis.

    Apart from the two-year civilian led transition, the military has also decided to cede the defence and security portfolio to the civilian prime minister, who has not yet been named.

    But there are other key issues yet to be addressed, including getting justice for dozens of anti-coup demonstrators killed by the security forces over the past year.

    Rebel groups who backed the army also appear to have been side-lined – the agreement they signed with the government in October 2020 ending decades of civil war could be at risk if not handled well.

    Many worry that the army, which will maintain a veto power over government decisions, will wield its influence to destabilise civilian leaders and frustrate the transition to democracy.

    But political leaders and the army say those issues will be tackled through further talks.

    “The goals of the agreement are establishing a fully civilian authority, creating a free climate for politics, and reaching a final agreement with the widest political participation,” Al-Wathiq al-Barir, a spokesman for the Forces of Freedom and Change, told the BBC.

    The timeline for a final agreement or when it will be implemented has not been set.

    The African Union, Arab nations and western governments are part of a broad international coalition that has been putting pressure on both sides to negotiate.

    The United States and the United Nations have also welcomed the agreement.

    The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called the deal an “important first step”.

    But there is a big gap between the international congratulatory messages, cheers in the presidential palace, and the mood on the streets.

    Later this month, Sudan will mark the start of a revolution which led to the overthrow of former President Bashir.

    For four years there have been mass protests calling for democratic change which has eluded the country for most of its history since independence.