Sudan’s military council signed a power-sharing deal with the country’s firebrand opposition that seeks to stem months of uncertainty and sporadic bloodshed after the overthrow of long-time president Omar al-Bashir.
Under the accord, civilian and military representatives will form an 11-seat sovereign council with executive responsibilities, and elections will take place after three years. Images aired on pan-Arab satellite channels showed the council’s deputy head, Mohamed Hamdan, and the opposition’s Ibrahim Al-Amin signing the agreement in the capital, Khartoum.
Sudan’s army has controlled Africa’s third-largest country since mass demonstrations sparked by an economic crisis spurred it to oust Bashir in April. The opposition has kept up its protests despite a clampdown, accusing the council — peopled by the old guard from Bashir’s three-decade rule — of trying to prevent a genuine transition to democracy.
The new pact, which analysts say still leaves many questions on the transition unanswered, was the fruit of sustained international pressure on Sudan’s military rulers in the wake of a June crackdown by security forces on a Khartoum protest site. More than 100 people were killed, with some of the bodies dumped in the Nile River. A second signing of a so-called constitutional declaration is scheduled to take place on Friday.