Sudan’s protest leaders and the ruling generals have reached a deal on a new power structure, with subsequent violence nevertheless taking the lives of six people.
The Alliance for Freedom and Change, which has been at the forefront of recent protests in Sudan, announced the deal on Monday.
“At today’s meeting, we agreed on the structure of the authorities and their powers,” Taha Osman, a spokesman for the protest movement, said. “The authorities are as follows — the sovereign council, the cabinet, and the legislative body.”
Osman said they would “discuss the period of transition and the [specific] composition of the authorities” during another meeting on Tuesday.
The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) later confirmed that an agreement on a transitional power structure had been reached.
“We agreed on forming the transitional authority on all three levels — the sovereign, the executive, and the legislative,” council spokesman Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi said on Monday. “Tomorrow, we will continue to discuss the percentage of participation… and the transitional period.”
After the announcement, however, five protesters and an army major were shot dead at a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, the TMC said. Three soldiers and several protesters and civilians were also injured, it added.
The council blamed “unidentified elements” for the casualties.
Thousands of protesters remain camped outside the army headquarters in Khartoum despite the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir on April 11 following mass anti-government protests. They have been demanding that the military council hand over power to civilians.
The council said in a late night press conference that it had “noticed some armed infiltrators among the protesters.”
The Alliance for Freedom and Change said the violence had aimed to “disturb the breakthrough in the negotiations” with the army generals, accusing the former regime’s militias of being behind the killings.
The military and the opposition have been at odds over the composition of the joint civilian-military council and whether it should have a civilian or military majority.
Earlier on Monday, Sudanese forces had used tear gas to disperse the crowds of protesters in Khartoum who had gathered to pile pressure on the TMC to hand power to civilians.
Bashir charged over killing of demonstrators
The breakthrough came as Bashir was charged with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters.
Sudan’s Acting Prosecutor General Waleed Sayyed Ahmed said Bashir “and others have been charged for inciting and participating in the killing of demonstrators.”
The charges form part of an inquiry into the death of a medic killed during a protest against Bashir.
A total of 90 protesters were killed in protest-related violence after anti-Bashir protests erupted in December last year, according to a doctors’ committee linked to the protest movement.
Bashir’s brother not in custody
Meanwhile, the ruling military council said on Tuesday that one of the ousted president’s brothers whom it had earlier said to be in detention was not in custody.
The TMC had announced on April 17 that it had arrested two of Bashir’s five brothers — Abdallah Hassan al-Bashir and Al-Abbas Hassan al-Bashir.
“This statement was not accurate,” Kabbashi, the spokesman for the military council, told reporters on Tuesday, after Abbas was seen on April 18 in an area bordering an unspecified neighboring country.
“Sudanese authorities have been in contact with this country but it has refused to hand him over to us,” he said.