Military, opposition agree in principle to joint council | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, April 29, 2019

Military, opposition agree in principle to joint council

Sudan’s military rulers and opposition agreed in principle on Saturday to the formation of a joint body to lead a transition from 30 years of autocratic rule by Omar al-Bashir, but not on the new council’s make-up, two sources said.

The two sides were holding their first formal discussions as opposition groups and protesters push for a rapid handover to civilian rule following Bashir’s fall earlier this month.

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC), which ousted and arrested Bashir after months of protests, has said it will rule for up to two years ahead of elections.

Anti-Bashir opposition groups and protesters who have kept up a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry want a civilian-led transitional council with military representation.

They continued their thousands-strong demonstration on Saturday evening.

“I came to support the sit-in for a civilian government because the army ruled Sudan since 52 years ago and the result is nothing,” said Nour el-Dayem Gaafar, a 23-year-old student from South Darfur state who had travelled by bus to the capital.

Bashir was overthrown after 16 weeks of protests triggered by a deepening economic crisis. He is being held along with other former officials at Khartoum’s Kobar prison.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted Bashir for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, charges he denies.

On Saturday Sadiq al-Mahdi, the veteran leader of Sudan’s opposition Umma Party, which is part of the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, said he thought Sudan should join the court.

“Now I have no objection to responding to its demands, and it’s necessary immediately to join (the ICC), but this position has to be coordinated with the military council,” Mahdi told reporters.

 

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