Army generals and protest leaders are expected to announce the make-up of a new body to govern Sudan for three years, the thorniest issue in installing civilian rule.
The protest movement that brought down president Omar al-Bashir after 30 years of iron-fisted rule is demanding a civilian-led transition, which the generals have steadfastly resisted since bowing to their demands and toppling the autocrat.
The latest breakthrough came despite the talks being marred by violence that left six people dead on Monday at a sit-in held by protesters outside the army headquarters in Khartoum. Yesterday’s crucial negotiations were ongoing as at press time. A leader from the protest movement the Alliance for Freedom and Change Khalid Omar Yousef said “The announcement was expected after midnight.”
The current talks began on Monday and the two sides have since agreed on an overall civilian structure, including a three-year transitional period for the full transfer of power to a civilian administration.
They have also agreed that parliament be composed of 300 members for the transition, with 67 percent from the alliance and the rest drawn from other political groups.
The first six months of the transition would be devoted to reaching peace accords with rebels in war zones including Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
The United Arab Emirates, which according to analysts backs the ruling generals, hailed the agreement on a transitional period. It “puts Sudan on the road of stability and recovery after years of Bashir and (Muslim) Brotherhood’s dictatorship,” its minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gragash, tweeted.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have offered $3 billion in aid for Sudan. The composition of the new sovereign council has been the toughest part of the negotiations, with the two sides so far offering different make-ups of the body which is expected to take all key decisions concerning national issues.