Khartoum - Just days after protest leaders and Sudan’s ruling generals agreed a power sharing deal, the two sides now have to thrash out details of a “Constitutional Declaration” crucial to a successful transition. Talks between the protesters and the army, originally scheduled for Friday, have been postponed. But these are the issues they face:
Immunity for generals?
More than 200 protesters have been killed since the nationwide uprising erupted on December 19, initially against now ousted leader Omar Al Bashir and later against the generals who seized power.
The generals insist the five military figures who will be part of the new joint governing body be granted “absolute immunity” for violence against protesters during their rule.
The demand was expected to be the most heated issue in talks. “This kind of immunity represents a big problem... it contradicts even international laws as international laws don’t offer immunity for war crimes or for violations of human rights,” said leading Sudanese political analyst Faisal Mohammad Salih.
Protest leaders have rejected this demand outright, and suggested a “temporary immunity” be offered that would be valid as long as the member is in service.
Transitional Military Council spokesman General Sham Al Deen Kabbashi told AFP Wednesday that there was “no dispute about immunity”, but did not elaborate.
The protest leaders and generals agreed during initial talks in May to set up a 300-member transitional parliament, 67 per cent of which would come from the protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change.
But the generals have called for a review of the agreed seat allotments.
“This issue can be solved by ensuring that the 67 per cent of lawmakers are widely distributed across all members of the protest movement, including rebel groups, NGOs and other movements,” said Salih.
Future of paramilitaries?
Protesters and rights groups accuse Sudan’s feared Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group of carrying out a brutal raid on a protest camp on June 3 that left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.
RSF commander General Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo, who is also the deputy chief of the ruling military council, has dismissed the accusations as an attempt to distort the image of his troops.
Protesters have increasingly called for a withdrawal of the RSF from the capital’s streets, and Salih said this could be another issue of focus. “The RSF is a tribal militia and represents a threat to a democratic state,” he said.