| 19 May 2024, Sunday |

Sudan: Burhan supports army return to Barracks, parties holding to elections

The head of the Transitional Sovereign Council in Sudan, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced the final exit of the military establishment from the political process.

Burhan stressed that the political parties would not participate in the transitional period in response to the protesters’ demands: “Soldiers belong in the barracks, and parties go to elections.”

Sudanese political parties and the military signed a framework deal on Monday that they said would pave the way for the two-year civilian-led transition toward elections.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Burhan said that professional military commitment means military recognition of the civilian-led political leadership, remaining neutral, and limiting the army’s mission to maintaining security.

He noted that the agreement is not limited to a specific party or entity but rather a “consensus and compromise to find solutions to national issues” with the participation of civil forces to end conflict and turmoil between civil and military forces and pave the way for a genuine democratic transition.

The army chief also vowed to turn the military into a constitutional institution “that any group or ideology can’t politicize.”

Burhan stressed that the civil authority is responsible for setting the national security goals and linking them to foreign and military policy, calling on the civilian power to respect the military and refrain from interfering in its affairs.

The official affirmed that the Freedom and Change forces could join the agreement at any time and commit to addressing people’s demands to achieve freedom, peace, and justice.

“The army will return to its barracks, but the political parties have to aim for the elections instead of ruling. We are committed to exit from politics and stop interfering in the political life, and we expect the politicians to stop interfering with the army,” Burhan asserted.

He renewed his commitment to move forward and work with the civil forces to complete the transition to free and fair elections by the end of the transitional period.

He called on the international community to support the transition in Sudan by lifting all sanctions and removing their effects, renewing Sudan’s membership in the African Union (AU), and fulfilling economic support and normalization with international financial institutions to support the transition’s requirements.

Burhan thanked Sudan’s friends and all regional and international aid and facilitation groups.

For his part, Vice President of the Sovereign Council Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, affirmed his strict and institutional commitment to democratic transformation and the protection of the transitional period until elections.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Hemedti acknowledged that the October 2021 incident was a political mistake due to differences between various components and wrongdoings.

He indicated: “we have worked to address it by communicating with the revolutionary forces,” adding that everyone must apologize for the state’s violence and mistakes towards societies throughout various eras, which wasted opportunities for national construction.

Hemedti reiterated the importance of establishing transitional justice, redressing grievances, healing wounds, and building a healthy and tolerant society.

He said that the withdrawal of the military establishment from politics was necessary to establish a sustainable democratic system, which required the commitment of political forces and parties.

He stressed the importance of conducting deep reforms in the military institution that lead to building a national, professional, and independent army that protects the democratic system.

Hemedti said that the most prominent current challenges facing the next civil-led government were implementing the Juba agreement, completing the peace agreement with the non-signatory movements, and addressing the issue of eastern Sudan.

The VP addressed the political and youth forces opposing the agreement, saying that the main interest is establishing a civilian-led government capable of running the state and conducting a comprehensive constitutional dialogue to address all issues.

He asserted the youth that the agreement paves the way for their participation in decision-making at the local government level, representing the basis of the democratic system.

Hemedti thanked the international community for its efforts to reach the framework agreement, calling on it to support Sudan in achieving cooperation and shared interests.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat