Sudan's military and opposition leaders resumed Sunday a dialogue on the composition of a future Sovereign Transitional Council, after warning Islamists of the need to keep Islamic law as the source of legislation.
The leaders of the protest want at all costs that a civilian leads this future key institution, after a strong call from the international community that the negotiations lead to a transition "really led by civilians."
"The new round of negotiations between the Transitional Military Council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC), began" in the evening, said the Military Council in a statement.
Spearheading the protest, the ALC had earlier indicated that the negotiations would focus on the distribution, between army and protest, of the seats of the Sovereign Council as well as on its future leader.
Negotiations were suspended Wednesday by the military council led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who took power after the dismissal and arrest on 11 April of President Omar el-Bashir. The military demanded the lifting of barricades installed by demonstrators in Khartoum.
Since 6 April, thousands of Sudanese have been camping in front of army headquarters in the Sudanese capital to demand the transfer of power to a civilian administration. On Friday, protesters dismantled several of these barricades.
Agreements and disagreements
Negotiations between generals and leaders of the protest have stumbled for a week on the composition of the future Sovereign Council.
The generals insist on obtaining a majority of seats while the leaders of the protest want to limit the presence of the military and place one of them at its head.
Military and protesters agreed on several points before the suspension of negotiations: the length of the transitional period – three years – and the creation of a Parliament composed of 300 people, two-thirds of whom would be from the LAC.
Progress in the talks, however, was preceded by a first outbreak of violence in which six people – five protesters and one soldier – were killed last Monday.
Before the resumption of negotiations and for the first time since the dismissal of Mr. Bashir, hundreds of Islamists demonstrated Saturday in front of the presidential palace.
They rejected any future civilian administration that would not use sharia law as the source of the legislation.
Islamic law has been applied in Sudan since Islamist-backed Bashir's coup in 1989, which, according to human rights defenders, led to abuses such as flogging of women for "indecent behavior" .
According to Al-Tayeb Mustafa, leading a coalition of twenty Islamist movements, "the main reason for this mobilization lies in the fact that the ALC ignores the application of sharia under the agreement" negotiated with the military.
The ALC has not yet expressed its position on sharia, saying the priority was to establish a civil administration.
During Saturday's rally, radical Islamist Mohamed al-Jazuli warned the army, "If you are planning to transfer power to a certain (civilian) faction, then we will consider it a coup".
On the question of the place of religion in the new institutions, one of the main opposition leaders, Sadek al-Mahdi, had also made his voice heard.
"Islam is part of the identity of the majority of Sudanese It was a big mistake, within the opposition forces, to talk about secularism", told AFP this former prime minister, hunted of power in 1989 and of which the Ummah party is part of the ALC.
At the head of Sudan for almost 30 years, Mr. Bashir was dismissed by the army after an unprecedented protest launched on December 19 by the government's decision to triple the price of bread in one country undermined by a serious economic crisis. The demonstrations quickly turned into a challenge to power.
19/05/2019 22:11:23 –
Khartoum (AFP) –
© 2019 AFP