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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Sudan Delays Signing of Deal to Usher in Civilian Government

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Sudan’s military leaders and pro-democracy forces would delay signing an agreement to form a civilian government.

The postponement of the signing – which was scheduled for later on Saturday – comes as key security reform talks appear to have reached an impasse between the Sudanese army and the country’s powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Sudan Delays Signing of Deal to Usher in Civilian Government

Khaled Omar, spokesman for the pro-democracy bloc, said in a separate statement that army generals met with pro-democracy leaders in the capital Khartoum on Saturday and agreed to sign the deal on April 6.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the United Nations, the African Union and the East Africa Intergovernmental Authority on Development, which are facilitating talks between the military and pro-democracy groups.

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Sudan descended into chaos after a military coup led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan toppled the Western-backed power-sharing government in October 2021, ending the country’s brief transition to democracy.

But last December, the army, rapid support forces and various pro-democracy groups signed a tentative agreement in which they pledged to restore the transition period.

In recent months, internationally brokered workshops in Khartoum have attempted to find common ground on the country’s most sensitive political issues in hopes of signing a broader final agreement.

Security sector reform and the integration of rapid support forces into the army, the subject of this week’s talks, were high on the agenda. But the talks ended on Wednesday with no clear outcome.

Sudan Delays Signing of Deal to Usher in Civilian Government

Shihab Ibrahim, a spokesman for one of the largest pro-democracy groups that signed the December deal, said the army and RSF were struggling to agree on a timeline for the merger.

He said the Army wanted a two-year timeframe for the merger, while the RSF had asked for a 10-year period.

Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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