| 7 December 2023, Thursday |

Sudan postpones signing of final political agreement to April 6

The official spokesman for the political process in Sudan, former minister Khaled Youssef, announced that the civil and military parties had agreed to sign the final political agreement on April 6.


The agreement, which was scheduled to be signed on Friday, was delayed at the last moment due to differences between the army and the Rapid Support forces over the process of merging the two entities into a unified army as part of security and military reform measures.


Sources noted that the postponement left the Sudanese with “great frustration and doubts about the completion of the ongoing political process, which requires the military to leave power.”


On Saturday, the army commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the head of the Rapid Support forces (RSF), Lieutenant General Mohammad “Hemedti” Dagalo, met at the presidential palace, in the presence of representatives of political parties, civil forces, and international bodies.


Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting was short and did not touch on any of the contentious issues between the two sides.


They added that Hemedti appeared angry and refused to speak at the meeting, which ended with an announcement to sign the final agreement on April 6.


According to the sources, one of the main points of disagreement was based on the army’s demand that the integration of RSF into the armed forces takes place within only two years, while the Forces demanded a longer period that extends from 5 to 10 years, as well as “removing all Islamist members who were recruited by ousted President Omar Bashir during his 30-year rule.”


A preliminary framework agreement was signed between the military and civilian parties, with international and regional mediation, in December, stipulating that the military would relinquish power to civilians in a two-year transitional period, ending with “free and fair elections.”


In a statement on Facebook, Youssef said Friday’s meeting was held in the presence of the Trilateral Mechanism, consisting of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).


“After extensive deliberation, the meeting decided, unanimously, that the military and civilian parties redouble efforts to overcome the remaining obstacle within a few days, in preparation for the signing of the final political agreement on the sixth of April,” he stated.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat