Sudan: 'Political declaration' after 7 months of crisis

2019-07-17 14:17
Ethiopian mediator Mahmoud Dirir inks an agreement between Sudan's protest leaders and members of the country's transitional military council in Khartoum. (Ebrahim Hamid, AFP)

Ethiopian mediator Mahmoud Dirir inks an agreement between Sudan's protest leaders and members of the country's transitional military council in Khartoum. (Ebrahim Hamid, AFP)

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The inking of a power-sharing deal between Sudan's protesters and ruling generals on Wednesday comes after seven months of major upheaval, including the ouster of long-time president Omar al-Bashir.

Here is an overview.

Protests erupt

Demonstrations break out in various cities on December 19, 2018 over hikes to bread prices. As they spread nationwide, protesters demand that Bashir quit after three decades in power.

On April 6, the rolling protests become focussed on the military headquarters in Khartoum, outside which thousands set up camp.

Spurred on by the protests, the army removes Bashir on April 11, leaving military generals in charge.

Amid initial celebrations on the streets, the umbrella protest movement quickly demands power is handed to a civilian government.

On-off talks

On April 27, ruling generals and protest leaders agree to establish a joint civilian-military council to govern during a transition.

But both sides want their representatives to be in the majority; they also disagree over whether the council should be headed by a soldier or a civilian.

Demonstrators mass in the capital on May 2 as protest leaders say the army is not serious about ceding power.

On May 15, military leaders suspend talks, insisting demonstrators remove their barricades in the capital.

The negotiations resume on May 19 but soon break down again over the make-up of the new governing body.

On May 28-29, thousands of public and private sector workers strike to pressure the military rulers.

Bloody crackdown

On June 3, armed men in military fatigues move in on the protest camp outside army headquarters and disperse thousands still gathered there.

It is the start of a crackdown that lasts several days.

Doctors close to the demonstrators say more than 100 people were killed on June 3 alone; the government toll is lower.

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a feared paramilitary with origins in the war in Darfur, is accused of being behind the violence.

Mediators' proposal

On June 9, protest leaders launch a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience that paralyses the country for two days, hitting the economy hard.

There are more deadly clashes.

Ethiopia and African Union mediators present proposals for a transition that calls for the creation of a civilian-majority governing body.

On June 30, tens of thousands of protesters again rally against the ruling generals in the biggest mass demonstration since the deadly crackdown.

Security forces are deployed en masse and police fire tear gas at crowds. Several people are killed.

Power deal agreed

Negotiations between the generals and protest leaders resume on July 3 on the basis of the mediators' proposals.

Early on July 5, the two sides agree in principle on a new ruling council made up of six civilians and five representatives of the military.

A general would take charge for the first 21 months of the transition, then a civilian would take the reins for 18 months, after which there would be elections.

Crowds take to the streets of Khartoum to celebrate.

On July 9, mobile internet services are restored across the country, having been cut in the wake of the early June crackdown.

On July 11, the ruling military council announces it foiled a coup attempt aimed at blocking the power-sharing deal. Sixteen retired and active army and intelligence officers and soldiers have been arrested, the council says.

Talks continue on the power-sharing accord, which is initialled by the two parties on July 17 and dubbed a 'political declaration', with further talks planned to flesh out details.

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Read more on:    omar al bashir  |  sudan  |  north africa
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