Sudan forms 11-member sovereign council to lead transition

Cheryl Sanders
August 21, 2019

The body will replace the transitional military council that took over from longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir when he was forced from power by relentless protests in April.

As a result of Wednesday's move, it was the first time that Sudan was not under full military rule since Bashir's coup d'etat in 1989.

The first steps of the transition after the mass celebrations that marked the August 17 adoption of a transitional constitution proved hard however.

Al-Burhan, who was chairman of Sudan's Transitional Military Council, on Tuesday issued a constitutional decree to form a joint sovereign council of 11 members.

Al-Burhan took the constitutional oath before Acting Chief Justice Yahia al-Tayeb Abu Shoura at the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum.

It will be headed by a general for the first 21 months and by a civilian for the remaining 18 months of the transitional period, due to end in 2022 with democratic elections.

Members of the sovereign council and the prime minister will be sworn in on Wednesday.

In an official ceremony on Saturday, Sudan's ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance signed a power-sharing deal, paving the way for civilian rule.

"If this council does not meet our aspirations and can not serve our interests, we will never hesitate to have another revolution", said Ramzi al-Taqi, a fruit pedlar.

Mohamed also said Bashir told police he received $65m, in two separate payments, from former Saudi King Abdullah.

The ruling council will also seek to have the country removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

In addition to these charges, al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegations surrounding atrocities in Darfur in the 2003 war.

Pictures of the 75-year-old autocrat sitting in a cage during the hearing instantly became a symbol of his Islamist military regime's downfall.

The TMC said on Monday however that the deadline had been pushed back 48 hours "at the request of the Forces for Freedom and Change" after they came back on some of the five names they initially put forward.

Alhaj Adam, a Khartoum resident, argued that Bashir's corruption trial should not distract from the need for the new administration to ratify the Rome Statute.

The very first steps of the transition to civilian rule after 30 years of Bashir's regime proved hard however with disagreements within the protest camp holding up the formation of Sudan's new ruling body for two days. All were members in the disbanded military council.

Other reports by iNewsToday