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Sudan Opposition to Asharq Al-Awsat: Counter-Revolt Wants to Impede Talks with Military

Sudan Opposition to Asharq Al-Awsat: Counter-Revolt Wants to Impede Talks with Military

Wednesday, 29 May, 2019 - 08:00
Protesters in Sudan. (AFP)
Khartoum – Mohammed Amin Yassine
Leading member of the Sudanese Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) Ali al-Sanhouri revealed that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) was facing pressure from the counter-revolution to create a schism with the opposition.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that these powers disapproved of the agreement that was reached between the opposition DFCF and TMC and are seeking to obstruct it.

The two sides had agreed through a series of negotiations to form a sovereign council that would oversee Sudan’s three-year transition to democracy after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir last month.

The talks however, have reached a standstill despite weeks of negotiations over whether civilians or the military will have the upper hand in the sovereign body.

Sanhouri said that the two-day general strike that began on Tuesday over the impasse was a “warning shot” that could lead to an open-ended political strike. He said that the opposition would assess the success of the two-day strike to determine whether to pursue the open-ended option, which would likely take place after the Eid al-Fitr holiday that falls next week.

Sanhouri was optimistic that the strike would be a success.

Moreover, he warned that some political powers may seek a side agreement with the TMC to act as a “fake replacement” to the deal struck with the DFCF.

“Such attempts will collapse. Anything is possible in politics, but any deal that contradicts the demands of the people will fail,” he vowed.

Political parties can no longer determine the fate of the people, who now control their own future, he stressed.

Commenting on head of the Ummah Party Sadiq al-Mahdi’s refusal to join the strike, Sanhouri said such stances harm the unity of the people and affect the negotiations.

“When the other side senses a lack of cohesion in the negotiations delegation, then it may seize it as an opportunity to maneuver,” he warned.

“Some statements by some parties on the issues that are being discussed in the negotiations weaken the negotiations committee. Such developments are tantamount to sabotage that could threaten the collapse of the talks,” he continued.

“All problems affecting the negotiations with the TMC stem from statements that are made by powers outside of the committee,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

On the impasse with the military council, he explained that the dispute stems from its refusal to form a sovereign council that is dominated by civilians.

“The real problem lies in the emergence of some leanings from within the council to portray itself as the protector of the revolution and people,” Sanhouri said. “We believe that the constitution and law protect the people.”

The sovereign council will not play a side role, “but it will represent the state. It will be tasked with adopting legislation, laws and decisive measures, such as declaring a state of war or emergency,” he went on to say.

The military wants all power to be in its hands and “we fear that its participation in the sovereign council may be a precursor to a new dictatorship,” he said.

The people of Sudan will no longer accept to be ruled by the military, he stressed.

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