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Exclusive – Sudan’s NUP Agreed to Cede Equal Power Distribution with Military Day before Protest Crackdown

Exclusive – Sudan’s NUP Agreed to Cede Equal Power Distribution with Military Day before Protest Crackdown

Tuesday, 18 June, 2019 - 09:45
Sudanese protesters shout slogans and wave national flags during a protest outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum on April 22, 2019. (AFP)
Khartoum – Mohammed Amin Yassine

Sudan’s National Umma Party (NUP) Secretary-General and representative of the Declaration of Freedom and Change (DFC) to talks with the Transitional Military Council (TMC), Ibrahim Al Amin revealed that the party had made a proposal to the council on ending the uprisings.

In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he said: “The DFC has agreed to concede equal representation between army and civilian authorities and rotating the leadership of the sovereignty council.”

Based on that premise, according to Al Amin, the DFC decided to return to negotiations. But despite the civilian body’s willingness to relaunch talks, media leaks suggested that the TMC is determined to uphold an earlier and biased agreement on dividing legislative power.

Al Amin said that the DFC had also accepted a proposal, put forth by African mediation efforts, that suggests forming a sovereignty council whereby eight seats are assigned to civilian authority figures and seven to military figures.

But the proposal lost traction after the TMC dispersed protesters using violence on June 3.

The DFC is a consortium of civil society, labor and political organizations spearheading the ongoing popular revolution. It had put negotiations with the TMC on hold, but said it would return to negotiations if it concedes to an international probe to look into claims of abuse of power.

Addressing disagreements between the DFC and the TMC, Al Amin said: “We wanted to have a unique experience. We hoped that the revolution would usher in a new phase, and the relationship between the civilians and the military would be strong enough to prevent any future military juntas.”

Despite wanting to work together towards a better future for Sudan, he stated that the DFC’s aspirations were scrapped after the TMC cracked down on protesters with unexpected brutality.

After using violence to disperse protests, he revealed that the opposition and civilian authorities demanded accountability and asked the TMC to apologize to the Sudanese people and to remove armed troops from cities.

Defending the NUP from backlash over its alleged clashes with the DFC, Al Amin remarked: “There are no differences between Party and other DFC members. But there may be some disputes within the DFC regarding procedural aspects… after ousting the former regime, the NUP shifted its methods of resistance and decision-making.”

The NUP had proposed that the DFC move from leading opposition protests and a revolutionary approach to establishing a hierarchical body designed for decision-making processes and to tackle transition in the country.

Nevertheless, Al Amin pointed out that the DFC rejected the NUP’s pitch based on the assumption it would compromise the leverages secured by the opposition and transform it into a bureaucracy.

“Our goal was to develop the work, not to de-legitimize it, because the same people can be represented in the leadership office, where they would act under a specific and binding framework,” Amin explained, adding that some DFC parties confused the proposal for a call to cede leadership to Sadiq al-Mahdi, the NUP chief.

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