Sudan’s opposition agree power-sharing deal with military

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Sudan’s ruling military council and a coalition of opposition and protest groups agreed provisionally on Friday to share power for three years, bringing thousands onto the streets to hail a first step toward ending decades of dictatorship.

The deal concluded in the small hours and due to be finalized on Monday, revived hopes for a peaceful transition of power in a country plagued by internal conflicts and years of an economic crisis that helped to trigger the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in April.

Relations between the military council that took over from Bashir and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance broke down when security forces killed dozens as they cleared a sit-in on June 3. But after huge protests against the military on Sunday, African mediators brokered a return to direct talks.

After two meetings, the sides agreed early on Friday to “establish a sovereign council by rotation between the military and civilians for a period of three years or slightly more” African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt told a news conference.

The council will be led for the first 21 months by the military, and for the final 18 months by civilians, according to a statement from the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which spearheaded months of protests against Bashir.

The sovereign council will be Sudan’s highest authority. It will comprise five military members and five civilian appointees, with an additional civilian member agreed by the two sides, and the deal will be finalized by Monday, the SPA said.

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