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Mediators delay handover of draft agreement on Sudan’s transitional authority

Ethiopian mediator and AU envoy speak to the press on 10 July 2019 (SUNA photo)
July 10, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The African Union and Ethiopian mediators have postponed the handover of the draft agreement on the transitional authority to the Sudanese to Thursday, instead of Wednesday

The two parties struck a deal on the three institutions of the transitional period, particularly the disputed leadership of the Sovereign Council. A 4-member drafting committee was tasked with the writing of the final version of the agreement in coordination with the joint mediation.

African Union (AU) envoy Mohamed Hassan Labat told reporters Tuesday that the drafting committee had finalized the agreement and they may give it to the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change on Wednesday.

However, on Wednesday, he announced they decided to postpone the delivery of the draft agreement to Thursday for "technical reasons".

In statements to Sudan Tribune, an FFC leading member confirmed the delay saying the joint mediation will hand over the final version to the two parties on Thursday.

He further said that the opposition coalition will discuss the matter with representatives of the military junta after divergences over the interpretation of some articles before to sign it next week in a ceremony attended by regional and international officials.

The FFC official who requested anonymity further said that the Addis Ababa consultations meeting between the components of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the FFC may lead to the conclusion of a charter or a roadmap to coordinate relations during the transitional period.

He stressed that the joint vision with the armed groups on how to achieve peace during the first six months of the transitional period is crucial.

In a meeting held in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, the FFC and SRF groups launched discussions on the formation of the transitional government after the settling the recent row over the leadership council.

The Sudan Tribune learned that the FFC have not yet agreed on who will represent it at the signing ceremony and ink the agreement on its behalf alongside the president of the military council, African mediators and international guarantors.

The source pointed out that the real challenge that the FFC are facing is to reach a consensus on the civilian individual who will be the eleventh member of the Sovereign Council, besides the choice of the prime minister.

On July 5, the military junta and the opposition FFC announced a power-sharing agreement for the three-year transitional period that will lead to general elections. In accordance with the deal, the Sovereign Council will be composed of 11 members. Each of the two sides will appoint 5 members who will co-opt a civilian member.

The agreement, brokered by Ethiopia and the African Union, provides that the TMC will designate the chairman of the sovereign council for the first 21 months, and the FFC will name the chairman for the remaining 18 months before the elections.

The two sides also agreed to form a technocrat government headed by a prime minister," and "to establish a transparent and independent national investigation of the various violent events experienced by the country in recent weeks."

They also agreed to "postpone the establishment of the Legislative Council and the details of its composition, once the sovereign council and the transitional government are established."