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 (AP)
The head of the Transitional Sovereign Council in Sudan, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (AP)
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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 (AP)
The head of the Transitional Sovereign Council in Sudan, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (AP)

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.



UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
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UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)

Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are suffering a drastically worsening human rights environment, alongside "unconscionable death and suffering" in the Gaza Strip, the UN human rights chief said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The West Bank, where the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule under Israeli occupation, has seen the worst unrest for decades, in parallel with the war in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.

Turk said that from the start of the Gaza war in October through mid-June, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers in the West Bank, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings".

Twenty-three Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes with or attacks by Palestinians, he said.

In Gaza, Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties to the war.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.

Israel's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva accused Turk of "completely omitting the cruelty and barbarity of terrorism" in his address to the UN Human Rights Council.

"Hostilities in Gaza are the direct result of Hamas terrorism, decades of rocket-fire and incitement against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, culminating in its brutal attacks against Israel on October 7," the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led fighters stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,400 people in Gaza, according to its health authorities, and left much of the enclave's population homeless.