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Sudan: from protest to the start of the transition


Sudan: from protest to the start of the transition

Khartoum (AFP)

From the protest, which led to the fall of President Omar al-Bashir, to the signing on Saturday of a historic agreement opening a period of transition to civilian power, reminder of eight months of unrest in Sudan.

In total, more than 250 people were killed in the crackdown on the protest, according to a committee of doctors close to the protesters.

- Bread and freedom -

On December 19, 2018, hundreds of Sudanese protest in several cities after the government decision to triple the price of bread in a context of economic crisis.

"Freedom, Freedom", "the people want the fall of the regime", chants protesters the next day.

The protest extends with weekly rallies mainly to Khartoum and Omdurman, the nearby big city, to demand the resignation of the head of state in power since 1989.

On April 6, 2019, thousands of demonstrators gather in front of the army headquarters in Khartoum. Protesters camp there for six consecutive days to demand the support of the army.

On April 11, the army deposed and arrested Omar al-Bashir, replaced by a "Transitional Military Council".

Despite a one-month curfew, thousands of protesters remain in front of army headquarters, rejecting a "coup d'etat".

- Negotiations failed -

On May 20, despite advances, negotiations between the military and the leaders of the protest ended abruptly without agreement on the composition of a Sovereign Council supposed to ensure the transition before a transfer of power to civilians.

Islamist movements are behind the army, hoping to preserve Sharia (Islamic law) in force since the 1989 coup.

A general strike is observed on May 28th and 29th.

At the end of May, the head of the Transitional Military Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, travels to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, countries deemed hostile to regional popular uprisings.

- Bloody repression -

On June 3, the sit-in in front of the army headquarters was dispersed by armed men in military uniform. One hundred and twenty-seven people are killed, according to the committee of doctors close to the protest. The paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are accused, while the Military Council orders the opening of an investigation.

The army declares the agreements reached with the protesters null and void and calls for elections in "nine months maximum". The protesters denounce a "putsch".

From 9 to 11 June, Khartoum is virtually paralyzed by a civil disobedience campaign launched by the protest.

The Ethiopian mediation, launched on June 7, declares that the Military Council and the protest agree to resume negotiations.

On 27th, the Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC), spearhead of the protest, announces that it has received a new "draft agreement" from the mediators of Ethiopia and the African Union (AU). The generals say they are ready to negotiate.

On June 30, tens of thousands of Sudanese parade through the country.

- Transitional Agreement -

On July 5, after two days of negotiations, an agreement is reached on the broad outlines of the future transition period.

A "political declaration", which endorses the principle of power sharing, is signed on 17 July. It provides for the creation of a "Sovereign Council" to manage the transition for a little over three years.

On 29 July, six demonstrators including four high school students were shot dead at a rally in Al-Obeid (center), suspending talks before the arrest of nine RSF paramilitaries. Discussions resume on August 1st.

On the 4th, the military and the leaders of the protest initialed an agreement providing for the establishment of the "Sovereign Council", consisting of six civilians and five soldiers.

On the 15th, a former UN economist, Abdallah Hamdok, is appointed to become prime minister of the future transitional government.

© 2019 AFP

Source: france24

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