Power sharing agreement reached in Sudan

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Sudan’s ruling military council and a coalition of opposition and protest groups reached an agreement to share power during a transition period leading to elections, setting off massive street celebrations.

The sides, which held talks in Khartoum for two days, agreed to “establish a sovereign council by rotation between the military and civilians for a period of three years or slightly more,” African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt said at a news conference.

They agreed to form an independent technocratic government and launch a transparent, independent investigation into recent violent events.

Both sides agreed to postpone establishment of a legislative council. They previously agreed the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition would have two-thirds of a legislative council’s seats before security forces crushed a sit-in protest on June 3, killing dozens, and talks collapsed

The streets of Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, erupted in celebration when news broke, a Reuters witness said. Thousands took to the streets, chanting “Civilian! Civilian! Civilian!”

Young men banged drums, people honked their car horns and women carrying Sudanese flags ululated in jubilation.

“This agreement opens the way for formation of institutions of the transitional authority and we hope this is the beginning of a new era,” said Omar al-Degair, a leader of the FFC.

“We would like to reassure all political forces, armed movements and all those who participated in the change from young men and women this agreement will be comprehensive and will not exclude anyone,” said General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the Transitional Military Council.

“We thank the African and Ethiopian mediators for their efforts and patience. We also thank our brothers in the Forces for Freedom and Change for the good spirit,” said Dagalo, who heads the Rapid Support Forces accused by the FFC of crushing the sit-in.