The Sudanese opposition appoints 5 civilians from the sovereign council



The Sudanese boys carry a national flag as they celebrate at Bahri, a day after generals and protest leaders signed a historic transitional constitution agreement. Agence France-Presse

The Sudanese opposition coalition on Sunday appointed five people as civilian members of the country's sovereign council to swear on Monday, a source within the coalition told Reuters.

A power sharing agreement signed on Saturday paves the way for a transitional government and possible elections. It provides a sovereign council as the highest authority in the country, but largely delegates executive powers to the cabinet of ministers.

According to the agreement, the opposition coalition is authorized to choose five members of the council and the other five, with the two parties jointly choosing a civilian as the eleventh member.

The Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) chose Aisha Mousa, Siddig Tower, Mohamed Elfaki Suleiman, Hassan Sheikh Idris and Taha Othman Ishaq, the coalition source said.

Military members will select the head of the council for the first 21 months of the transition period, which lasts three years and three months, according to the agreement.

The FFC has appointed economist Abdalla Hamdok as prime minister. He should be named Tuesday and sworn on Wednesday.

On Saturday the spokesman of the Military Transitional Council (TMC) said that the TMC leader, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, his deputy general Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and Lieutenant General Yasser Al-Atta will serve as three of the five military members. He has yet to announce the other two chosen members.

Rare scenes of jubilation filled the streets of the capital on Saturday after generals and opposition leaders signed the documents that will govern Sudan's three-year transition to civilian rule.

Congratulations all over the world came after the signing, that both the revelers and the officials hailed as the beginning of a "new Sudan" after 30 years of government by the now Islamic general detainee Omar Al Bashir.

"I welcome this historic moment for Sudan. This agreement responds to the demands of the Sudanese people who have tirelessly called for a change and a better future ", said the British Africa Minister Andrew Stephenson.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has promised that his country would support the establishment of "a government that protects the rights of all Sudanese citizens and leads to free and fair elections".

According to the green book of documents signed on Saturday, several key steps will be taken before embarking on the long and strewn road of polls for 2022.

The body, which will replace the Transitional Military Council, will be headed by a general for the first 21 months and a civilian during the last 18 months of the transition period.

A cabinet will then be created before the new institutions of Sudan can face the main challenges that lie ahead, first of all measures to save a dying economy.

Making the most of a new freedom gained during eight months of protests – and clashes with uniformed men that caused at least 250 deaths – Sudanese families took to the streets for wild celebrations on Saturday night.

The young people who came out of the cars that sounded the horn dragged themselves along the main street of the Nile in the depths of the night, while the groups sang and danced – the same two words that echo throughout the city: "Madaniya, Madaniya".

It translates vaguely into "civil government" and it would be difficult to find someone on the streets of Khartoum who publicly opposes this objective.

Some members of the opposition alliance who organized the protests fear, however, that the euphoria may be short-lived.

There remains a deep distrust among the main players of the incoming sovereign council.

While the compromise on power sharing at the beginning of this month was widely acknowledged as the best Sudan could have hoped, some members of the protest camp feel it has briefly changed their revolution.

The omnipresence in the transition of General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo – a paramilitary commander who was one of the signatories of the documents on Saturday – is one of the main causes of hardship.

His forces are accused of the deadly repression of protests and many suspect that the best-known man with his nickname "Hemeti" is simply waiting for his time to launch into power and crush democracy in the bud.


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