Sudanese military and civilian opposition to finalise power-sharing agreement

Sudan 1
Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

Sudan’s ruling military council and a coalition of opposition groups are expected to finalise a three-year power sharing agreement today.

The deal has revived hopes for a peaceful transition of power in a country overwhelmed by internal conflicts and years of economic crises that culminated in the overthrow of beleaguered President Omar al-Bashir in April.

Under the agreement, a joint military-civilian Transitional Military Council (TMC) will rule the country by rotation for three years until elections. While an agreement is better than a continuation of mass protests and violence, the deal faces two potential pitfalls.

The first is that under the agreement, the military would lead the TMC for the first 21 months of its existence. This time could give military leaders an opportunity to consolidate their political power and undermine the capacity of opposition leaders to organise mass protests.

Secondly, the deal calls for a commission under the council’s authority to investigate recent violence in the country. The military may use this as a pretext for raising trumped-up charges against opposition leaders.

If the military is too enthusiastic in using its now-legitimate powers to quash dissent, expect a resumption of violence and mass protests in the medium term.

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