Sudan army chief slams transitional council

Sudan’s army chief on Wednesday accused the council charged with overseeing the transition to civilian rule of failure, just over a year after it was formed following the ouster of autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

“A year after its creation, I say that the transitional council has failed to respond to the aspirations of the people and of the revolution,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said, addressing an army unit stationed south of Khartoum.

The country’s transitional power structure — comprising a sovereign council, Sudan’s highest executive authority, and a cabinet — is made up of military and civilian figures, with the latter forming an overall majority.

It was agreed by the army and protest leaders in August 2019, four months after the military’s ouster of Bashir during months of street demonstrations against the dictator’s long rule.

Burhan heads the sovereign council, while Prime Minister heads the cabinet.

Alongside accusing the transitional organs of “deepening the suffering of the people,” Burhan praised the Sudanese armed forces.

The military, he pledged, would “remain the first force in defending the people, (and will) protect their achievements and (also) work to protect the glorious revolution”.

Burhan also called on “the transitional partners to bring into being the legislative council”, a 300-member interim parliament that was meant to be established three months after the 2019 agreement, but has yet to be formed.

The latest deadline for establishing that body is the end of this year.

Relations between the civilian and military components of the country’s three-year transitional government have deteriorated in recent weeks, with Burhan creating yet another organ — one with broad powers.

Established by decree, the “Council of Transition Partners” is “responsible for leading the transition period, resolving differences (between those in power) and having all the necessary prerogatives to exercise its power”, Sudan’s SUNA news agency reported last week.

Burhan insisted Wednesday that the newly created organ “will have nothing to do with government institutions… and never interfere in their work”.

Hamdok has rejected the Council of Transition Partners, saying Burhan has overstepped his prerogatives by conferring excessive powers on the new body.

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