Today, Sunday, the first meeting of the new Sovereign Council in Sudan with all its members began, while popular forces announced an escalation of the struggle against what they called “coup forces”, amid African calls for the Sudanese army to engage in a political process.
This is the first meeting of the Council, after the announcement of its new formation last Thursday.
On Thursday, Army Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan issued a constitutional decree forming the new Transitional Sovereignty Council headed by him, and appointing Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti) as its deputy, along with 11 other members, while postponing the appointment of a representative for the eastern Sudan region for further consultations.
escalate the struggle
For its part, the Federal Gathering Alliance – one of the components of the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change – announced in a statement, “the escalation of the struggle against the coup forces across all fronts and by peaceful means until victory is achieved and retribution from the killers.”
He added, “Our conviction will not soften to follow the path chosen by our people, and we will not respond to the attempts of the coup forces that are betting on extinguishing the flame of the revolution by using the machine of killing and repression, which will only increase our determination to defeat the coup and the enemies of the civil and democratic state.”
And yesterday, Saturday, thousands of people went out in the neighborhoods of Khartoum and a number of other states of Sudan, continuing the protests against the actions of the army chief, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan; This resulted in the killing of 6 protesters and the injury of others, according to what was announced by the Sudan Doctors Committee.
While the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change in Sudan (participation in the former ruling coalition) – yesterday, Saturday – accused the security forces in all their formations of confronting the peaceful movement with “excessive and unjustified violence”, the Sudanese police said that they adopted “minimal force and did not use firearms in their dealings with demonstrators,” according to the official local television.
The crowds defied attempts by security forces to disperse them, using tear gas and live bullets.
The demonstrators chanted slogans, including “Down with military rule”, “No to military rule”, “apostasy is impossible” and “Down with the military coup d’etat”.
The protests come two days after the army chief, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced the formation of a new Sovereignty Council that would exclude the coalition of civilians that had been sharing power with the army since 2019.
Since last October 25, Sudan has been experiencing a severe crisis, as Al-Burhan declared a state of emergency, dissolved the Sovereignty Councils and transitional ministers, and dismissed the governors, following the arrest of party leaders, ministers and officials, in exchange for continuous protests rejecting these measures as a “military coup”.
Prior to these measures, Sudan had been living since August 21, 2019, a 53-month transitional period that ends with holding elections in early 2024, during which power is shared by the army, civil forces and armed movements that signed a peace agreement with the government in 2020.
This coincided with the call of the African Union Commission – today, Sunday – for the Sudanese army to engage in a political process that leads to the return of the constitutional order.
Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki said – in a statement posted on the commission’s website – that he will appoint an envoy to Sudan in the near future to encourage all parties to urgently reach a political solution.
The statement stated that Faki “continues to follow political developments in Sudan following the takeover of the army on October 25, 2021, and in particular the recent appointment of a new sovereign council.”
“The Chairperson of the Commission considers with regret that the political actors are still far from reaching a consensus on the democratic transition of power,” he added.
The Chairperson of the Commission renewed his calls for the Sudanese military authorities to engage without further delay in a political process that leads to the return of the constitutional order in line with the constitutional decree agreed in August 2019 and the Juba Peace Agreement in Sudan on the 3rd of October 2020.
For its part, the Umma Party in Sudan, headed by Mubarak Al-Fadil, called today for an urgent national dialogue to reach comprehensive reconciliation and an agreement to restore the transitional civilian path, release detainees, and form an independent civilian government.
“We call for an urgent national dialogue to reach comprehensive reconciliation and an urgent agreement to restore the transitional civilian path, release detainees, and form an independent civilian government of technocrats that will lead the country to urgent elections,” the party said in a statement.
He explained that “civilian rule can only be achieved through an elected government. As for the transitional government to be formed, it is an interim administration whose main task is to organize free and fair elections that will bring an elected civilian government that represents the aspirations of the Sudanese people.”
The party condemned the “excessive use of violence in the face of peaceful demonstrators.”