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Sudan's military council, opposition ink power-sharing deal

Wednesday - July 17, 2019 2:20 pm , Category : WORLD
Khartoum, July 17 (IANS) Sudan's opposition and the ruling military council that took power after the ousting of long-serving president Omar al-Bashir signed on Wednesday a political deal for a three year transitional period in the country.
Representatives from Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) and the junta penned the accord under the auspices of the African Union and Ethiopia.
AU envoy Mohamed Hassan Labat told reporters at the Corinthia Hotel in Khartoum, where the signing took place, that the agreement "represents a decisive step and opens a new era," reported Efe news.
"It paves the way for the next step, which is to study a constitution," he added.
The sovereign council, with six seats for civilians and five for the military, is to hold power until elections are held in the African country.
The main opposition, led by the FFC, and the military are set to take turns at the helm of the joint council for a period of three years and three months.
The military would lead for the first 21 months, while the opposition will take over for the remaining 18.
The pact has been signed by deputy Head of the military council Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, who is accused of leading a deadly military crackdown on the weeks-long sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum on June 3.
According to the opposition, more than 100 people were killed, while government officials have put the death toll at 61 nationwide.
Hemedti thanked all those involved in the deal for their effort, without going into further details about the final points that were agreed upon by both sides.
Establishing a sovereign council had been one of the main issues that left both parties stuck in a negotiation stalemate in the past weeks.
The talks between both parties collapsed after the violent dispersal of the sit-in.
The FFC has been since December last year leading the protests that left al-Bashir toppled down after holding power for some 30 years.
Al-Bashir, who took power after he led a coup in the oil-rich country in 1989, was deposed and arrested in a military coup in April that came after months of anti-government demonstrations.
A hike in the price of basic commodities sparked rallies in December 2018, which gathered momentum and spread across the country as thousands took to the streets in a rare display of defiance, calling for the resignation of al-Bashir.

--IANS pg