Tue, 30 May 2023

Key Date Set in Sudan Government Transition, Official Says

Voice of America
20 Mar 2023, 18:05 GMT+10

KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudan's military leaders and pro-democracy forces vowed to begin establishing a new civilian-led transitional government on April 11, a spokesperson representing both parties said Sunday.

Speaking at a news conference broadcasted by Sudan's state-run SUNA news agency, Khalid Omar said a finalized political settlement, first agreed upon last December, would be inked on April 1st. A new transitional constitution would be signed days later, he said.

Sudan has been plunged into chaos after a military coup, led by the country's top Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, removed a Western-backed government in October 2021, upending its short-lived transition to democracy. The takeover came more than two years after a popular uprising forced the removal of Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.

''We will start forming the institutions of the transitional authorities on the coming April 11th,'' Omar said.

Pressure is mounting on Sudan's various political forces to implement the promises of December's deals. Several of the country's thorniest political issues, including security sector reform and transitional justice, remain unresolved.

An 11-person committee comprised of nine pro-democracy leaders, one from the army and another from the country's large paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, has been tasked with tying up the final agreement, Omar said.

Since December, progress and consensus-building have been slow. Major political players, from former rebel leaders to grassroots pro-democracy networks, remain opposed to the deal despite numerous internationally brokered efforts to draw them in.

''It was expected that some of the non-signatories to the framework agreement would join this meeting,'' said Omar.

A restoration of Sudan's democratic transition would likely see a new wave of cash flood the African country. Since the coup, international aid has dried up and bread and fuel shortages, caused in part by the war in Ukraine, have become routine, plunging Sudan's already inflation-riddled economy into further turmoil.

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