Sudan celebrates end of stand-off between military leaders, opposition

Sudanese citizens took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, Friday to celebrate a power-sharing agreement that could bring an end to a weeks-long standoff between the ruling Transitional Military Council and the opposition alliance.

Sudan’s military leadership and the country’s pro-democracy movement have agreed to form a rotating, joint sovereign council that will govern “for the next three years or a little longer,” Mohamed el-Hassan Labat, the African Union’s envoy to Sudan, said early Friday.

Under the agreement, the military council will be in charge of the country’s leadership for the first 21 months. A civilian administration will rule the council during the following 18 months.

The joint sovereign council will consist of five members of the military and five civilians, in addition to one civilian chosen by consensus from both sides.

“Today our revolution has won and it waves the flags of victory,” the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) said Friday.

The two sides have also agreed to launch an investigation into street violence committed since the ouster of long-time President Omar al-Bashir in April.

Talks between the military leadership and opposition groups collapsed after security forces broke up a protest camp outside Khartoum’s military headquarters on June 3. More than 100 protesters were killed in the crackdown.

Ethiopia’s government and the African Union mediated talks that led to Thursday’s agreement, Labat said. Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Sudan’s cities in the run-up to the deal.

The Transitional Military Council has been in power since the military overthrew al-Bashir in April. The coup followed months of protests that engulfed the country.

Sudan’s pro-democracy movement remained on the streets after Bashir’s ouster, demanding a transition to civilian rule.