2 May 2019

Sudan: Impasse in Military-Opposition Talks, Opposition Calls for General Strike

Photo: Radio Dabanga
Demonstrations take place in the Kauda market of Nuba Mountains on April 6, 2019.

Talks between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition late Monday night failed to reach agreement on formation of the proposed state council (the presidency).

A joint statement by the opposition, grouping the the Forces signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change (DFC), and the (TMC) said the two sides "could not reach agreement and would continue talks."

"The basic point of difference between the two sides, represented in the rate of seats in and the chairmanship of the state council, still exists," said the joint statement early Tuesday.

The two sides have, however, said they would work to overcome their differences. "We will work to reach a quick agreement that meets the ambitions of the Sudanese People and realizes the goals of the glorious December 2019 Revolution," they said.

The sticking point that lead to the indecision in Monday talks is that each party insists upon having the majority of seats in the state council that would hold ultimate power in addition to the council's chairmanship.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) that engineered the protests which lead to the downfall of Omar Albashir's rule, said in a statement, that the Transitional Military Council " is still intransigent upon a military chairmanship of the state council and upon a majority membership in the council."

"This condition does not provide the required conditions of change and does not represent the political and social objectives of the December Revolution," said the SPA.

The SPA is a grouping of doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers, journalists and other professionals.

It spearheads the umbrella "the Forces signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change (DFC)" that comprises a spectrum of political parties, rebel groups and civil society groups.

The (DFC), among other nine points, calls for a return to civilian rule terminated by General Bashir in a military coup in 1989.

"The civilian authority means all structures of government should be civilian, including the state sovereign power," it further explained.

"The role of the Armed Forces is to guard and protect this civilian authority as an honorable national duty that goes down in the annals of history, otherwise the meaning of "civilian government" would be undermined and the project for transition would be defeated," it further maintained.

The SPA's statement has called for a general political strike "in order to complete the people's victory."

"We reaffirm that the arrangements we initiated since the beginning of our revolutionary movement will be completed by fixing a zero hour for a civil disobedience and a political strike, with certain timetables to be announced in due course," it said.

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