Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration
Source: Wikimedia Commons, August 4th 2019 Constitutional Declaration.
Following Sudan’s historic power-sharing accord signed by the military council and The Alliance For Freedom and Change (FFC) in mid-July, the two groups unofficially signed the Constitutional Declaration with an official ceremony planned later in August. The Declaration serves as a detailed plan to reach the power sharing goals outlined in the earlier accord. Below are some highlights from the 18 page Declaration:
The 36 month transitional period will begin following the official signing in August.
The sovereign oversight council consists of five military personnel and 5 civilians, with another civilian agreed upon by the two parties.
Military Council rule will begin the transitional period.
FFC will appoint the Prime Minister.
The Legislative Council (>300 members) will reserve 40% of its seats for women.
It also includes a section outlining the rights of citizens, including freedom of the press, speech, and expression, equality before the law, right to a free and fair trial, freedom from inhumane punishment (including torture) among other civil liberties.
A more detailed list of the Declaration’s contents can be found here.
While signing the Declaration prompted mass celebrations throughout Khartoum, groups like the Sudan Revolutionary Front rejected the Declaration citing the Military Council’s recent unresolved violence towards student protestors in El-Obeid and beyond. The FFC responded to the death of five student protestors in late July by postponing signing the Declaration, but later rejoined negotiations. While this delay did result in dismissal of several soldiers and promises of holding the security council accountable, the Sudanese Professional Association alleges it did nothing to prevent another wave of violence from the Military Council on August 4th, the same day the Declaration was signed.
The FFC has yet to address the August 4th violence and whether the official signing ceremony will continue as planned on August 17th. The ongoing violence has led many protesters to adopt an increasingly pessimistic outlook on the power sharing deal as their original concerns surrounding government violence have not been resolved.