Sudan: A glimmer of hope
The efforts of the African Union and Ethiopia seem to be giving their first fruits. Indeed, the ruling military and the leaders of the protest sealed Saturday a historic agreement paving the way for a transfer of power to civilians. Mr. Abdallah Hamdok, an experienced economist who served at the United Nations, was appointed prime minister. However, he must be confirmed to this post by the Sovereign Council next Tuesday.
The democratic transition in Sudan was signed Saturday, August 17 in Khartoum, on the banks of the Nile, after months of popular protests, the agreement on. With this signing, Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, number two of the Military Council, and Ahmed Al-Rabie, representative of the Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC) and spearhead of the challenge, thus open the way to a transfer of power to civilians.
The agreement was negotiated for two days in early August, announcing the end of nearly eight months of a new protest movement, which led, on April 11, to the fall of President Omar Al-Bashir.
Concluded through mediation by Ethiopia and the African Union, this agreement was greeted with relief from both sides; the demonstrators celebrating the victory of their "revolution" and the generals claiming the merit of having avoided a civil war. If the road to democracy is likely to be long, however, the mood is in celebration in the capital, where foreign dignitaries and thousands of Sudanese flocked on Friday for the occasion.
The first stages of the transition should follow the signing with the announcement on Sunday of the composition of the Sovereign Council in majority consisting of civilians (6, against 5 military) who must lead the transition.
Thursday, Aug. 15, the Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC), appointed Abdallah Hamdok, a former economist from the United Nations (UN), to become prime minister. The Sovereign Council must announce Tuesday if he confirms it to this post. Mr. Hamdok will then have the daunting task of raising the economy of the country that collapsed after the secession of the South in 2011, depriving it of three quarters of its oil reserves.
Minorities in the Sovereign Council (11 members) who will govern the country, this council will however be directed, initially, by a general for twenty-one months. And the ministers of the interior and the defense will be chosen by the military.
One of the first consequences of the diplomatic deal should be the lifting of the June suspension of Sudan from the African Union. General Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, a member of the Transitional Military Council, said Friday that the signing would "reopen the door to Sudan's international relations".