Sudan’s military leaders reitrate pledges to hand over powr to civilians

Sudan’s military leaders on Sunday reiterated their commitment to hand over power to a civilian transitional government to be formed by the end of the ongoing political process, while the holdout groups described the launch of the second phase as a negative indication.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan head of the Sovereign Council and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti made their pledges at the launch of the second and final phase of the political process before the civil forces signatories of the framework agreement.

“We assure everyone and the Sudanese people that we will not fail them and we will not redraw back from the path we have embarked on leading to a genuine democratic transition,” al-Burhan said.

“The military establishment will have no role in this transition,” he stressed.

He further called to keep efforts to bring the non-signatories to join what “we started with full conviction”.

The head of the military component also thanked the regional and international actors for the role they have played to end the political crisis in Sudan pinpointing to the Trilateral Mechanism which has been targeted by the Islamists during the past months.

“We thank the regional and international partners who support this process, and in particular the Trilateral Mechanism for its role in bringing together our word and unifying our vision,” he said.

The opening session was attended by the tripartite facilitation panel and foreign diplomats in Khartoum.

The commander in chief of the military component also spoke about the security reforms that are part of the second stage of the political process.

“We reaffirm that the establishment military is fully committed to its exit (from politics) and is also committed to working with our political and civilian partners to lay the foundations for the military’s work in democratic societies,” he said.

He went further to underscore they believe that the armed forces must come under the command of an elected civilian authority.

Al-Burhan has always refused to put the army under the control of the transitional government saying they are unelected.

The second phase will discuss five issues including security reforms and the unification of all the armed forces under the national army.

Hemetti committed to one army

The head of the Rapid Support Forces in his speech was keen to reaffirm his adherence to the power handover to a “full civilian government”, pointing out that the role of the armed forces is strictly to protect the nation and its borders.

“The military institution must devote itself to protect the country and engage in a comprehensive security and military reform that leads to a single, professional and national army that has nothing to do with politics,” he reiterates.

Also, he pointed to the launch of the second stage of the political process had been delayed because they were working to include some groups that did not sign the framework agreement and whose participation we agreed in advance.

“We hope that you will be involved in this agreement so that we can end this crisis that the country is going through,” he said alluding to the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi.

Suspending consultations

For its part, the Democratic Bloc coalition on Sunday vowed to mobilize its supporters to protest against the framework agreement and announced the suspension of informal consultations with its signatories.

The coalition, which includes some groups signatories of the Juba peace agreement, held a press conference to renew its rejection of the two-stage process.

The block calls to keep the 2019 constitutional declaration and reject the review of the Juba peace process. Also, they refuse the idea of a technocratic government and want to be part of the transitional government.

Mubarak Ardol, the Secretary-General of the bloc, held a press conference to denounce the launch of the second stage and announced their decision to stop any negotiations and informal discussions with the parties to the framework agreement.

He added they informed the head of the Sovereign Council, al-Burhan, of their decision.

Also, he said they asked him not to consider individual positions of the bloc members as representatives of the whole bloc.

For his part, Minnawi who is outside the country posted a tweet saying that the launch of the final phase of the political process without them is a negative indication.

“The (FFC) Central Council’s inauguration of the final phase of the framework agreement at a time when the military-facilitated dialogue is taking place between us and them is undoubtedly a negative sign and a manifestation of a unilateral spirit,” Minnawi said.

Source: Sudan Tribune