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Sudan, Constitutional Declaration Signed: Democracy One Step Closer

Democracy in Sudan is one step closer after months of protests and deaths, over 100, following the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, who had led the nation for thirty years, in April.

After several weeks of negotiations, the military government and the opposition coalition that represents civilians, reached an agreement on a constitutional declaration that will pave the road to a new transitional government and democracy.

The long-awaited agreement on the constitution triggered celebrations all over Sudan, a country that has been plummeted in crisis and riddled with violence. Thousands of people filled the streets of the capital Khartoum to celebrate the agreement reached during the night singing, chanting and waving the Sudanese flag.

African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt told the Sudan news agency, SUNA, “the two delegations have fully agreed on the constitutional declaration,” but he did not go into further detail.

The agreement stipulates a transitional period of three years with a governing body of 5 military officials and 6 civilians that will take the place of the current military junta in power with the promise to establish peace between the various armed forces in the country.

The agreement is expected to be signed Sunday, say the leaders of the opposition, and a formal signing in front of foreign dignitaries will take place a few days later.

Negotiations between the ruling generals and the opposition movement were repeatedly interrupted after protesters were victims of violent events. For months they had been demanding the transition to civilian rule.

They were interrupted the first time on June 3, 2019, when military security forces stormed a sit-in killing 127 people – although authorities admit to only 61 – according to the association of doctors that support the protest movement. For days, protesters were pressing for negotiations outside military command headquarters in the capital, Khartoum. The doctor’s association also says that since December, there have been 250 deaths due to repression.

Talks were interrupted a second time, at the beginning of this week, when paramilitaries open fired on protesters in El-Obeid, killing 5 people of which 4 were high school students. Last night’s agreement marks a crucial step towards transition.

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