Sudanese Leaders Reach Transitional Agreement, Pro-Democracy Protesters are “Cautiously Optimistic”

Juicy Ecumenism | 7/6/2019 | Ryan Brown
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In the early hours of Friday morning, 5 July, Sudanese leaders representing both the military and the civilian-led protesters reached an agreement on the structure of a new transitional government whose primary task will be to facilitate democratic elections in approximately three years. The deal calls for the creation of an eleven-member Sovereign Council made up of six civilians and five military leaders appointed to oversee this task, as well as a new independent body to investigate recent violence against pro-democracy protesters in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital city.

While pro-democracy demonstrators welcomed the deal as a positive step towards democracy in Sudan, many remain fearful that prospects remain bleak for a successful transition to civilian-led democracy, leading many to embrace a “cautiously optimistic” view of the new agreement. Tarek Abdel Meguid, a leader representing the Sudanese protesters, characterized the new agreement as “not fully satisfying but a step forward.” In order for optimism to be warranted without caution, there are several key developments that must take place before pro-democracy protesters will be fully satisfied.

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Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known by the nickname “Hemeti”, rose to infamy as the leader of the brutal Janjaweed militia that carried out genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. His paramilitary militia, also known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has been accused of killing hundreds of civilian protesters since the Sudanese military assumed power over the country following President Omar al-Bashir’s ousting in April this year. Now, Hemeti is the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), the same military group currently controlling Sudan. Many Sudanese fear that Hemeti will seek a seat on the newly created Sovereign Council, a group of leaders created under the agreement reached this morning. So...
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