KHARTOUM – Sudan’s top general says the military council that assumed power after the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April will be dissolved with the implementation of a power-sharing deal reached with protesters last week.
The military and a pro-democracy coalition agreed last week on a joint sovereign council that will rule for a little over three years while elections are organized. Both sides say a diplomatic push by the U.S. and its Arab allies was key to ending a weekslong standoff that raised fears of all-out civil war.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the military council, said in televised comments late Sunday that the army would return to its barracks after 21 months, when leadership of the council passes from a military representative to a civilian.
The council will include five civilians representing the protest movement and five military members. An 11th seat will go to a civilian chosen by both sides. The protesters will select a Cabinet of technocrats, and a legislative council is to be formed after three months.
Burhan also insisted that the military council did not order the violent dispersal of the main protest camp last month, which killed scores of people and led to the collapse of talks.
“We trust that military council members had nothing to do with what happened in the sit-in dispersal,” he said.
As part of the power-sharing agreement, the two sides agreed on an independent Sudanese investigation into the deadly crackdown, but the details have yet to be worked out.
Sudanese security forces razed the sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum on June 3. The deadly clampdown killed at least 128 people, according to protest organizers. Authorities put the death toll at 61, including three security forces.
On June 30, the protesters returned to the streets by the tens of thousands to again demand a transition to civilian rule. The rallies were the largest since the uprising began in December.