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World Explainer-Sudan's political transition in the balance

12:40  22 november  2021
12:40  22 november  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Sudan: USA and EU denounce a blow to the democratic transition

 Sudan: USA and EU denounce a blow to the democratic transition Sudan-Politics: Sudan: USA and EU denounce a blow to the democratic transition © Reuters / Jok Solomun Sudan: USA and EU denounce a blow to The democratic transition Cairo (Reuters) - the United States and the European Union have expressed their deep concern on the day after the appointment by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, a new strong man of Sudan, a council of Sovereignty unobtrusive to civilians, a measure with them to hinder the democratic transition.

(Reuters) - Sudan's military has announced a deal to reinstate Abdalla Hamdok as prime minister, just under a month after dissolving his government in a coup.

FILE PHOTO: Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Berlin © Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke FILE PHOTO: Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Berlin

The agreement faces opposition from protesters who previously saw Hamdok as a symbol of resistance to military rule but viewed his signature of the deal as a betrayal.

WHAT'S IN THE AGREEMENT?

The agreement signed on Sunday says Hamdok will lead a government of technocrats during a political transition expected to last until 2023, and that all political detainees are to be freed.

Sudan armed forces deploy ahead of planned anti-coup protests

  Sudan armed forces deploy ahead of planned anti-coup protests Sudanese armed forces deployed and bridges were shut ahead of planned anti-coup rallies Saturday, two days after the military formed a ruling council that excludes the country's main civilian bloc. But it excludes any members of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), an umbrella alliance which spearheaded the 2019 anti-Bashir protests, and the main bloc calling for a transition to civilian rule. The UN has criticised the military's latest "unilateral" step, while Western countries said it "complicates efforts to put Sudan's democratic transition back on track".

It is meant to be based on an earlier deal struck between the military and civilian political forces in the wake of the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, under which they agreed to share power until elections - though that partnership was halted by the coup.

It provides for the investigation of casualties during recent demonstrations, and for the completion of a peace process signed by some Sudanese rebel groups in Juba last year.

WHAT'S CHANGED?

The military says its takeover was a "correction" to move beyond political infighting, and that the transition towards elections can now continue.

Opponents argue the agreement provides legal cover for the coup and allows the military to bolster its position by replacing democrats with loyalists in positions of authority, thereby subverting the transition and the goals of the 2019 uprising that toppled Bashir.

South Sudan swears in new parliament vowed under peace deal

  South Sudan swears in new parliament vowed under peace deal South Sudan on Monday swore in hundreds of lawmakers to a newly created national parliament, a long overdue condition of a fragile peace deal that ended civil war in the young country. In all, 588 MPs -- a mix of delegates from the ruling party and former rebel factions who signed the truce -- took the oath of office at a ceremony in Juba presided over by the chief justice. The creation of an inclusive national assembly was a key condition of the 2018 ceasefire that paused five years of bloodshed between government and rebel forces that left nearly 400,000 people dead.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Sudan's power sharing arrangement had come under increasing strain as civilians pressed for reform of the military, justice for protesters killed in 2019, and the delivery of Bashir and others wanted over crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

The military accused political factions of incitement against the army, while civilian groups said the military was manoeuvring to grab power. On Oct. 25 it did so, arresting its most prominent critics and placing Hamdok under house arrest.

Much of the international community condemned the coup and pro-democracy groups in Sudan began a campaign of mass rallies and civil disobedience. Local mediation efforts backed by the United Nations sought a return to power sharing as the military moved to consolidate its position.

HOW MUCH SUPPORT DOES THE DEAL HAVE?

Hamdok, who had resisted military pressure to dissolve his government immediately before the coup, said he signed the deal in order to prevent further bloodshed after a crackdown left several dozen protesters dead.

Sudan minister: Return to pre-coup arrangement ‘unrealistic’

  Sudan minister: Return to pre-coup arrangement ‘unrealistic’ KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — A pro-military minister in Sudan says time is running out for the country’s deposed prime minister to agree to take a post in a military-led government after top generals seized power last month. Security forces, meanwhile, opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the capital, Khartoum, killing at least two people, according to doctors. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is currently under house arrest in the capital of Khartoum. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali, File) Security forces, meanwhile, opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the capital, Khartoum, killing at least two people, according to doctors.

The military has the support of some former rebel factions that signed the Juba peace deal and social leaders prominent under Bashir. The United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and Western states cautiously welcomed the agreement.

However, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) political coalition that had been sharing power with the military, as well as pro-democracy activists who have led protests since the 2019 uprising, have rejected it.

Angered by the coup and protester deaths, they are demanding that the military exit politics and be held to account in the courts, raising the prospect of continued demonstrations.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The fate of the deal will determine the balance of power in Sudan, a country of 46 million people in which a popular uprising had carved a way out from decades of autocracy, internal conflict and economic isolation under Bashir.

Hamdok's government had secured agreement for relief on more than $56 billion in foreign debt - a step thrown into doubt by the coup. It had carried out painful economic reforms that it said were starting to bear fruit against a backdrop of shortages and widespread poverty.

It had also agreed to take steps to follow other Arab states in normalising ties with Israel.

Sudan's course will have a bearing on a volatile region bordering the Sahel, the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa where international powers are vying for influence. The conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region sent tens of thousands of refugees into Sudan one year ago, and renewed tensions over farmlands on the neighbours' disputed border.

(Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Peter Graff)

At least 20 Sudan troops dead after clash on Ethiopia border .
At least 20 Sudanese troops have reportedly died following clashes with Ethiopian forces on the countries' shared border. Sudanese soldiers fell into an ambush on Saturday after traveling across the Atbara river and being bombarded, Bloomberg reported, citing Alrasheed Ali, a member of the border commission of Sudan's southeastern Gadaref state.Sudanese forces are now accumulating on the riverbank and "the situation is very tense," Ali toldSudanese soldiers fell into an ambush on Saturday after traveling across the Atbara river and being bombarded, Bloomberg reported, citing Alrasheed Ali, a member of the border commission of Sudan's southeastern Gadaref state.

usr: 0
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