Sudan general to lead top decision-making body

The leader of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, has been sworn in as leader of the newly established sovereign council.

He will lead a group of six civilians and four other military officers as part of a planned 39-month long transition to democracy.

There will also be a prime minister and cabinet.

The new government comes after Omar al-Bashir was ousted in April.

He had been president for nearly 30 years but was removed by the military after months of protests.

On Saturday, the TMC and civilian leaders signed a deal that should pave the way to a new democratic dispensation.

Under the agreement, Gen Burhan will be in charge of the Sovereign Council, which replaces the TMC, for the first 21 months; a civilian will then take over until elections in 2022.

The other 10 members of the council were also sworn on Wednesday.

In addition, respected economist Abdalla Hamdok, who was nominated by civilian protest leaders as prime minister, is due to be sworn in.

The ministers of defence and interior, who will be part of a cabinet, will be chosen by the military.

The deal was not perfect but was an important step, Dr Mohanad Hamid, a spokesman for the umbrella opposition group, the Sudanese Professionals Association, told the BBC.

“We are positive that we are together as Sudanese, a government and people that will together push forward to improve the level of our economy, improve the level of our health system and our education,” he added.

Gen Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo, the second in command in the TMC, has pledged to abide by the terms of the deal.

On August 4, the military and protesters signed a constitutional declaration which paved the way for the formation of a transitional government. A formal signing ceremony took place on August 17.

The long transition period is seen as a victory for the pro-democracy movement – the generals had threatened a snap election after the June 3 crackdown, during which more than 120 people were reportedly killed, with many of the dead dumped in the River Nile.

Demonstrators argued that Mr Bashir’s regime was so deeply entrenched that it would take time to dismantle its political network and open the way for free and fair elections. –BBC

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