Sudan’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council have formally signed a final power-sharing deal, paving the way for a transition to a civilian-led government.
The landmark agreement signed on Saturday in the capital Khartoum came after a long period of negotiations following the overthrow of longtime leader President Omar al-Bashir in the wake of mass protests.
The deal was inked between Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and Ahmed al-Rabie, who represented the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group.
The deal establishes a joint military and civilian council to rule for a little over three years until elections can be held. It will also establish a Cabinet appointed by the activists and a legislative body.
The ceremony was attended by heads of states, prime ministers and dignitaries from several countries, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
“There [are] mixed reactions, people at the venue where the agreement has just been signed are excited, they were chating even before this agreement was signed.. they are saying that they finally have a civilian government,” Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reported from Khartoum.
“In the streets, people are also celebrating, but they are saying that they are cautiously optimistic .. they are worried that the military council may delay the implementation of some clauses, and therefore will hold on to power longer, or will find the way to push the civilians out of power, and will continue maintaining control of the government until elections are held,” she added.
After weeks of tense negotiations, both sides reached a preliminary agreement earlier this month following international pressure amid growing concerns that the political crisis could ignite civil war.
The constitutional declaration deal reached on August 4 brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that saw masses mobilise against al-Bashir, who was removed in April after 30 years in power.
The agreement, brokered by the African Union and Ethiopia, has been welcomed with relief by both sides.
Protesters celebrated what they saw as the victory of their “revolution”, while the generals took credit for averting a civil war.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies