Sudan: Military, Parties Sign Transition Deal Amid Protests

Sudan's military and political parties on Monday signed a two-pronged initial transition deal for a two-year, civilian-led transition toward elections to end a standoff that began after the army took over in October 2021.

Sudan: Military, Parties Sign Transition Deal Amid Protests
Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • Sudan's military and political parties on Monday signed a two-pronged initial transition deal for a two-year, civilian-led transition toward elections to end a standoff that began after the army took over in October 2021.
  • This preliminary deal brokered by the international community — including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UN, and the US — establishes that the civilian coalition will choose the prime minister and limits the military's role in politics and investment.
  • The second part of the pact, for which no timeline was provided, seeks to engage the wider public in addressing issues related to transitional justice, reforming the military, and reviewing a peace agreement signed in 2020 with an alliance of rebel groups in the western region of Darfur.
  • The signatories to this deal include the military, civilian groups under the umbrella of the Forces Freedom and Change (FCC), the Islamists Popular Congress Party (PCP), part of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), some rebel movements, Salafists, tribal leaders, and some civil society organizations.
  • Before the signing ceremony, protesters took to the streets in at least two areas outside of Khartoum in demonstrations against the agreement, as anti-military groups and Islamist factions loyal to former leader Omar al-Bashir oppose negotiations with the military.
  • Though Western states and signatories have praised the deal, protesters claim that they "had been excluded from the talks" and their aspirations were not met. The Resistance Committee leaders argued that transitional justice and security sector reform must be included in any deal from the start.

Sources: Al Jazeera, New York Times, Middle East Eye, and DW.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by MSN. This agreement is a gilded repackaging of the status quo, which is why anti-military factions are still protesting in the streets. No government can function properly without control of the monopoly on violence, meaning the military will eventually take back control of everything once it's at odds with what the new "legitimate" political regime wants.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by National News. As Sudan faces triple-digit inflation and rolling blackouts, this deal is the first sign of hope since the coup. It promises a democratic future where people can enjoy a parliamentary political system prioritizing peace over violence and the integration of outside rebel groups into the common democratic society.