Crowds of jubilant Sudanese took to the streets of Khartoum yesterday to celebrate a landmark deal between protest leaders and the country’s ruling generals aimed at turning the page on months of political unrest.
The power-sharing deal, reached in the early hours after two days of hard-won talks brokered by Ethiopian and African Union mediators, came after a previous round of negotiations collapsed in May over who should lead the new body -- a civilian or soldier.
“The two sides agreed on establishing a sovereign council with a rotating military and civilian (presidency) for a period of three years or little more,” African Union (AU) mediator Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt told reporters.
Sudan has been gripped by political deadlock since the generals ousted longtime president Omar al-Bashir in a palace coup in April following months of mass protests nationwide.
The key protest group that initially launched demonstrations against Bashir in December hailed the deal.
“Today, our revolution has become victorious and our victory shines,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said in a statement.
Tension between the two sides had soared after a brutal raid on a longstanding protest camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum that killed dozens of demonstrators and wounded hundreds on June 3.
Lebatt did not specify the exact make-up of the new ruling body, but prominent protest leader Ahmed al-Rabie told AFP it would comprise six civilians, five of them protest movement nominees, and five military representatives.
The SPA said a final draft of the agreement would be ready for signing by the two sides by Monday.