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Sudan military tell African Union they want to facilitate change, as SPA says it is civilians’ job

April 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Transitional Military Council (TMC) told the head of African Union Commission they want to create a conducive environment for democratic change in Sudan while the professionals association stressed the need to undertake this job by qualified civilians.

Moussa Faki, head of African Union Commission (ST photo)On Saturday, the head of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki who is Arabic speaker held talks with the military council, the Sudanese Professionals Association and other political forces including the Popular Congress Party (PCP) which was part in al-Bashir government.

Following his meeting with the head of TMC political committee Lt. Gen. Omer Zain-al-Abdin, the official news agency said the latter explained to African official their keenness to facilitate the democratic transition in Sudan.

"The head of the political committee said that the task of the Transitional Military Council is to create a suitable atmosphere enabling the political forces to rule the country in a peaceful and democratic manner," reported SUNA in a statement released after the meeting.

The Sudanese military say they did not carry out a coup d’├ętat and have no intention to keep but seized power in response to the calls by the Sudanese people to join them to protect their revolution.

They further say they want to achieve peace with the armed groups in the Two Areas of the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, pointing to their direct involvement in the fight against rebel groups.

However, the Freedom and Change forcers reject that the army takes a leading role during this period pointing they should participate as a partner in the transitional period institutions. Many of the opposition groups that led the protests suspect Zain-al-Abdin of being an Islamist.

They also, reject the idea on a two-year transitional period and call for a four-year period to achieve peace, adopt a new constitution, prepare elections, negotiate with the international community the end of sanctions, and to build up their political forces.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) insisted on the "need to transfer power to the civil forces that led the process of change;(...) "in order to ensure the implementation of the declared programme and turn the slogans of the masses into reality," said Mohamed Youssef a leading member of the group that orchestrated the four-month protests across the country.

Youssef further stressed that the four-year transitional period proposed by the Freedom and Change forces not long, considering that there are complex issues that need to be addressed, citing "the issues of war and peace, which need time to be addressed, and would lead to addressing the other issues of economy, foreign relations and freedoms".

On a related development, a joint delegation of the Freedom and Change forces held a meeting with the head of the TMC political on Saturday.

"The meeting dealt with how to continue coordination and communication between the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change and the Transitional Military Council to discuss how to hand over and transfer the government to civil authority in response to the mass movement and demands," said Siddiq Youssef after the meeting.

The opposition groups say the military council speaks about power handover as soon as possible but they didn’t see any concrete measure in this direction.

Also, they pledge to maintain the sit-in outside the army headquarters as long as needed to press the military to transfer power to civil rule.