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Ethiopia’s Abiy to discuss draft agreement with Sudanese stakeholders

Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed (L) shakes hand with Sudan's TMC leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on 7 June 2019 (SUNA photo)

June 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected Thursday in Khartoum to discuss with the Sudanese stakeholders a draft agreement over the transitional civilian-led authority, Sudan Tribune has learnt on Wednesday.

Sources close to the file disclosed to Sudan Tribune that the draft agreement has been concocted by the Ethiopian Mediator Mahmoud Dirir based on position papers made by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).

“On Thursday Abiy will discuss, in separate meetings, with the two parties the draft agreement and will try to persuade them to endorse it before his return to Addis Ababa,” said the sources.

“It is true that the TMC retracted from the agreement reached last May and particularly the transitional legislative council because they fear it could enact laws dissolving the Rapid Support Forces (RSF),” further said the source.

Last May, the military junta and the opposition agreed that a technocrat government appointed by the FFC would administrate the country during the three-year transitional period. Also, they agreed that the opposition coalition will appoint 67% of the 300-member parliament.

Another source told Sudan Tribune that the military council now claims the half of the government and the half of the parliament after giving up the majority of the Sovereign Council to the opposition FFC.

TMC deputy leader Mohamed Hamdan Daglo “Hemetti,” last Sunday said they cannot accept the FFC take 67% of the appointed parliament and control it.

Also, on Wednesday the head of the military council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said they are prepared to resume talks with the freedom and change forces.

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“The military council will not accept any opinion excluding any of the people who went out to remove the totalitarian regime”, he said before to add “We will not accept a return to another totalitarian regime”.

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) entrusted the head of the IGAD to mediate between the Sudanese parties in order to speedily establish a civilian-led transitional administration in the east African country.

The PSC will consider the efforts of the mediation by the end of June and it may decide to sanction the military council members if they continue to impede the power handover to civilian-led authority.

It is believed that the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary force established by the ousted President Omer al-Bashir, now fear that the opposition coalition FFC which include rebel groups may seek to disband them and seek guarantees before to give up power.

The RSF leader Hemetti who is known for his strong relations with some former security officers recently expressed his fears that his forces might be dismantled despite their support to the Sudanese people in its revolution against al-Bashir.

Several opposition officials including rebel groups reached by Sudan Tribune said they are aware of the need for national reconciliation to preserve Sudan integrity and prevent destabilisation.

They also pointed to the need to establish a strong national army absorbing the rebel combatants and militiamen, alike.


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