Rapturous crowds filled the streets of Khartoum yesterday as Sudan’s generals and protest leaders signed a historic deal paving the way to civilian rule.
Thousands of cheering people gathered around the Friendship Hall next to the Nile, where the documents that will govern Sudan’s 39-month transition were signed.
“This is the biggest celebration I have ever seen in my country. We have a new Sudan,” said Saba Mohammed, a veiled 37-year woman, waving a small plastic flag.
Minutes earlier, the deal was signed by Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, deputy chief of the military council, and Ahmed al-Rabie, representing the Alliance for Freedom and Change protest umbrella.
Heads of state, prime ministers and dignitaries from several countries -- including Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egypt’s premier Mustafa Madbuli -- attended the ceremony.
The constitutional declaration formalises the creation of a transition administration that will be guided by an 11-member sovereign council, comprised of six civilians and five military figures.
The agreement brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that saw masses mobilise against president Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in April after 30 years in power.
Thousands of people had arrived on trains from Sudan’s provinces to take part in the celebrations, which will include a huge gathering in Khartoum’s main gardens.
“We hope Sudan can move forward now, we want to be proud of our country,” said Saida Khalifa as she got off the train after an all-night ride from Atbara, the town where the protests started in December last year.
“The guns must go silent now and we must pull the country out of this mess to gain peace and freedom,” she said.
The composition of the civilian-majority transition ruling council is to be announced today.
That follows the naming on Thursday of former senior UN official Abdalla Hamdok, a veteran economist, as transitional prime minister.