Sudan’s army and protesters agree on a three-year transition to civilian rule

For more than five months, Sudanese have been protesting. Their first request – Al-Bashir stepping down– has been fulfilled but they were still relentless about getting their other demands met and remained on the streets demonstrating.  Just today, another crucial demand has been agreed on; tenure of a transitional government.

On Monday, the military reached an agreement with the country’s popular opposition movement for a three-year transition to civilian rule. They agreed that two bodies will be formed to govern Sudan until the country goes to polls.

The two bodies will be a sovereign council and a 300-member legislature, dominated by the opposition grouping, the protest movement. With this agreement, the guiding principle which was a bone of contention can now be put to rest.

Currently, Sudan’s constitution specifies that Sharia is the country’s guiding principle but activists say the sharia law was used to target women. Even some women’s rights organisations say thousands of women were flogged for indecent behaviour in the country.

Protesters had proposed that the power to declare a state of emergency should lie with the cabinet but the military believes the Islamic Sharia law and tradition should be the source of legislation.

Sudan has made tremendous progress in its protests and dialogue on the way forward in Sudan after a 30-year rule under Bashir. The protests in Sudan have been largely peaceful, with the protesters organising a sit-in at the military headquarters in Khartoum from April till date despite Bashir’s ouster and imprisonment in a maximum-security prison.

The movement has been characterised by hope and joy, and those involved are determined to make the most of this opportunity to forge a new path for Sudan. The United States, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have been watching events in Sudan closely as the country’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition forces agree on what is best for the country.

According to the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash this deal “puts Sudan on the path of stability and recovery after the years of the dictatorship of Al Bashir and the (Muslim) Brotherhood. Sudan looks to the future with optimism.”