Sudan's Three-Year Transition to Democracy Begins

Celebrations begin as the Freedom Train arrives in Khartoum from Atbara.

Khartoum — The final documents heralding the three-year transitional period for Sudan and galvanising the political agreement reached between the Transition Military Council (TMC) and Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the Constitutional Declaration regarding the Transitional Authority were signed today at the Friendship Hall in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Deputy Chairman Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' signed on behalf of the TMC, while Leading member Ahmed Rabie signed for the FFC. They were then joined by a list of foreign dignitaries.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, and the chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki, and Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbuli signed as witnesses.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto signed on behalf of European Union, and the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Dr Yousef Bin Ahmed Al Othaimeen also endorsed the documents.

The final signing took place this afternoon in the presence of the TMC Chairman Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Chadian President Idris Deby, South Sudan President Salva Kirr, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and the President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archange Touadera.

Celebrations

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has called on the Sudanese to join the celebrations of the signing ceremony of the Constitutional Declaration today.

In a statement on Friday, SPA said its members will attend the signing of the document that launches the transition period to democracy begins. The SPA will also pay tribute to the souls of all martyrs who fell during the past 30 years and all activists who are still being held in detention centres.

A number of exhibitions will be organised in the Sudanese capital. One in commemoration of the people killed during the December-Revolution, an exhibition of photos of the protests, and an exhibition honouring the heritage of the various peoples in the country. Representatives of families of protesters killed, injured, and those who are still missing will deliver speeches during the day.

The latest reports reaching Radio Dabanga from Khartoum say that the public have converged on Khartoum's Freedom Square for a mass celebration.

Reaction

Chairman of the Transitional Military Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, pointed out that "the Sudanese have proved through their glorious revolution that they are the inspiring to others," and that "the December Revolution will remain preserved in the conscience of the world".

Chairman of the Transitional Military Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan (SUNA)

In his speech at the signing celebration El Burhan lauded the struggle of the Sudanese people and their peaceful revolution which culminated in the final signing of the documents.

He affirmed that "the armed forces will fulfil their duty to protect the country and maintain its security and stability.

"What we have reached today has elevated the value for the country and made the citizen feel honoured and proud," pledging to make the agreement a starting step.

El Burhan praised the joint mediation, the negotiation groups, the sister and friendly countries and the regional and international organizations for their support to the efforts in Sudan.

African Union

Addressing the ceremony, the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki said the final signing of the agreement would herald transitional change to democracy in Sudan. arrange for democratic transitional stage in Sudan that the deal would put an end to wars, disasters, and conflicts and the AU recognises the magnitude of the challenges the country faces.

Faki praised the appreciated efforts of his representative, African mediator Mohamed Lebbat which was "crowned by final signing of the agreement" as well as endeavours of the Ethiopian envoy , Mahmoud Dirir who cooperated with them to reach the ultimate goals.

African mediator Lebbat congratulated the Sudanese people and parties to the agreement on the final signing of the documents of the transitional period.

Lebbat said that Africa has become capable of resolving its problems: "African stands today with Sudan and Sudan stands with Africa and by this we learn that solutions can be achieved by ourselves".

Rebel boycott

The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition of armed movements which is part of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said they would not take part in the signing ceremony of the agreement on the transitional authority with the military council.

The boycott of the rebel coalition aims to protest against the removal of some clauses they negotiated last month with their allied political groups, members of the FFC in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

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