Questions raised by forces in the civilian coalition about negotiations with Transitional Military Council in Sudan

Talks took place Aug. 17-19 between Sudan’s military government and the civilian opposition with the goal of defining new government bodies based on constitutional rule.

A massive uprising of the Sudanese people needed months of struggle to end the former military regime last spring and oust President Omar al-Bashir on April 11. Since then, a military body called the Transitional Military Council has governed Sudan.

The TMC has been negotiating with the committee speaking for the mass movement, known as the Declaration of Forces of Freedom and Change, the coalition that led the popular uprising since December 2018. These talks are expected to lead to a constitutional declaration defining the structure and composition of new governing bodies demanded by the civilian opposition.

According to the agreement’s terms, the TMC will be represented in a body called the Sovereign Council, while the civilian coalition will nominate both an interim Council of Ministers and a Legislative Council. This leaves the military in control of much of the state apparatus.

Negotiations have been especially strained since June 3 when TMC-controlled forces violently dispersed a mass sit-in demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. The attacks caused the death of 127 people and injured about 700 protesters and others.

After talks on July 15, the Sudanese Communist Party, which had been involved in the civilian coalition, announced it would refuse participation in the transitional government. The SCP blamed this choice on the TMC’s decision to withdraw from points to which they had previously agreed.

The civilian coalition and Sudan Call—​another alliance which includes armed rebels—​had rejected the proposals of the TMC. In relation to the expected Constitutional Declaration, the SCP continues to call for mass mobilizations, according to statements on the SCP Facebook site.

The SCP remains concerned that the currently configured transitional government will not meet the people’s demands to withdraw Sudan’s troops from the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen, to withdraw from agreements with AFRICOM (the U.S. Africa Command, which is responsible for military relations with 53 African nations) or to prevent the CIA from operating in Sudan.

Further, the TMC has withdrawn from agreements that would empower civilian bodies to investigate allegations against members of the Rapid Support Forces. The people have the right to demand a security force that acts on behalf of the people and not for their own opportunistic purposes nor for the defense of imperialist interests.

Members of the SCP also express concern that the transitional government will refuse to provide measures to ensure that the people have access to bread. They say this government will fail to build organizations capable of responding to new waves of economic crises that further worsened when some areas of Sudan recently experienced deepening food shortages and extensive flooding.

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