Sudan’s military and opposition agree on joint council

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Sudan’s ruling military council and the opposition alliance reached an agreement in principle to form a new body to run the country until the next election.

The agreement was reached during a meeting on Saturday between the ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) and the Declaration of Freedom and Changes Forces, an umbrella organisation of opposition groups.

“The talks started with high spirits and great transparency and we have reiterated our joint regard for the country,” Shams Eldin Kabashi, the spokesperson for the military council, told Al Jazeera.

“Talks will continue and we are optimistic on reaching a final result that we can announce to the Sudanese people as soon as possible”.OPINION

After the fall President Omar al-Bashir on March 11, following months of popular demonstrations against his 30-year rule, the MTC is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold presidential elections.

Opposition groups and protesters, however, have continued to stage large demonstrations to demand that the ruling military council hand over power to a civilian administration.

Protesters on Saturday busted a meeting of the Popular Congress Party of late opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi and left 65 party members injured in capital Khartoum.

Meanwhile, Sudanese opposition has rejected an African Union move to give the ruling military council a three-month deadline for handing power over to a civil administration.

“Sudanese don’t need the recommendation of African Union,” said Sadiq al-Mahdi, the head of the National Umma Party.

Speaking in a press conference in Khartoum, al-Mahdi called on the MTC “to act with wisdom, not tension”.

“We hope that the civilian authority in the transition period will organize national, economic and international conferences”, he added.

Al-Mahdi stressed that the transitional period must follow free elections.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said protesters were continuing to keep the pressure on the military council.

“Over the past three weeks, more and more people have been arriving from different parts of the country to join the sit-in.

“They say they want civilians, and not the military, to be the ones who have the ultimate say on the shape of Sudan’s future”.


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