Sudan crisis

Sudanese protesters accept Ethiopian initiative to end political crisis

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:32 pm

Sudanese protest leaders have agreed with a proposal set forth by Ethiopian mediators aiming to end the months-long unrest in the African country. A coalition of political groups representing the protesters announced that they had accepted the proposed plan suggested by mediators sent by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. One of the protest leaders, Madani Abbas Madani, confirmed that the proposal calls for a civilian-majority governing body. “We think that our acceptance of the proposal is a major leap towards meeting the goals of the revolution, which are freedom, peace and justice,” protest leader Babiker Faisal told reporters in a brief statement. “It will put the country on the right track to create the transitional period that would usher in sustainable democracy.” Media reports said the Ethiopian mediators’ proposal suggests creating a 15-member transitional body comprised of eight civilians and seven members of the military to run the country.

The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) has yet to announce its acceptance of the proposal. In April, after weeks of street protests, the TMC detained ousted ruler Omar al-Bashir in an effective coup against his 30-year rule. In May, negotiations between the TMC and protest leaders on the structure of the governing-body of the transitional government broke down. On June 3, a deadly raid on a long-running protest camp outside army headquarters in Khartoum left multiple people dead, mounting international pressure on the junta to end the deadlock. In previous talks, protest leaders and the generals had agreed on a three-year transition period and forming a 300-member parliament, with two-third lawmakers from the protest movement.

Breaking the stalemate

Ethiopia initiated mediation to resolve the political crisis days after the deadly crackdown on the protest camp in Khartoum. Experts believe Saudi Arabia has been playing a detrimental role in Sudan, exasperating the crisis. A Sudanese military expert revealed that the Saudis “gave green light” for the deadly crackdown on protesters in Khartoum.

The brutal raid on the long-lasting protest camp outside Sudan’s Defense Ministry in Khartoum, which left scores of people dead, had been discussed during recent visits to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by Sudan’s military ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, according to the expert who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Middle East Eye .