Sudan's military, opposition agree on constitutional declaration

People rallied in Khartoum to protest against the killings of demonstrators

AU mediator Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt told AFP, "I am announcing to the Sudanese, African and global public opinion that the two delegations have fully agreed on the constitutional declaration". "The two sides have a meeting today to prepare for a ceremony that will be attended by some presidents of neighbouring countries", Lebatt said, without specifying when the document is to be signed.

The deal was struck on Saturday after lengthy negotiations, the African Union has said.

The deal is the fruit of hard negotiations between the leaders of the mass protests which erupted last December against the three-decade rule of president Omar al-Bashir and the generals who eventually ousted him in April.

Demonstrators cheered in the streets of Khartoum on Saturday to celebrate an agreement on a constitutional framework reached by Sudan's military council and the civilian opposition.

As news of the agreement emerged, people began gathering on Nile Street, a main avenue in Khartoum.

Some people chanted "we're victorious" with others singing the national anthem. Legal and technical teams still need to establish a timeline for the declaration to take effect.

Once the transitional government starts work it will be in power for a period of three years.

Sudan's stability is crucial for the security of a volatile region stretching from the Horn of Africa to Libya that is riven by conflict and power struggles.

The document outlines the terms of a three-year transitional period agreed last month by the military council and opposition leaders.

It is now headed by Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and his deputy, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), some of whose members have been accused of involvement in killing demonstrators.

The sides had previously agreed that the sovereign council will be comprised of 11 members - five officers selected by the military council, five civilians chosen by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and another civilian to be agreed upon by both sides.

Protest leaders said they had won the military's agreement that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) irregulars would be integrated in the army chain of command.

"An investigation has been launched into the incident of Al-Obeid and seven members of the RSF were immediately dismissed and handed over to civilian judges for trial", General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman for the ruling military council, told reporters earlier on Friday.

Also, the FFC issued a statement saying that they have come close to agreeing on the Constitutional Declaration with the Military Council.

Leading FFC member Medani Abas Medani told MEE that the agreement is a landmark leading towards the victory of the Sudanese revolution, though many more steps will be required to reach the final goals.

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