Egypt hosts Sudan protest leaders - GulfToday

Egypt hosts Sudan protest leaders

Egyptians play with balloons during Eid Al Adha celebrations in Cairo on Monday. Agence France-Presse

Egypt wrapped up a two-day summit with Sudan’s main protest leaders on Tuesday, its foreign ministry said, days before they are due to sign an agreement paving the way for civilian rule in the country.

The “important meeting” brought together the Alliance for Freedom and Change, Sudan’s umbrella protest movement and the driving force behind the protests since December, and the rebel groups of the Sudan Revolutionary Front.

Its objective was “achieving peace” as the long-awaited deal is inked, the ministry said in a short statement on the discussions.

The constitutional declaration scheduled to be formally signed on Aug.17 outlines the formation of a transitional civilian government and a parliament to govern for a three-year transition period. The agreement stipulates the formation of a joint civilian-military ruling body.

The results of the Cairo discussions will be presented before the leaders of the powerful alliance in Khartoum, the statement added.

Cairo has been a steadfast ally of Khartoum’s military leaders after long-time autocrat Omar Al Bashir was toppled on April 11 following months of protests.

Last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi met with powerful Sudanese military General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, whose forces have been accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown on protesters in June.

Recently, clashes that erupted over pasture between farmers and herders in Sudan’s western region of Darfur left three civilians dead, a doctors committee linked to the country’s protest movement said.

Such deadly violence over grazing land, which was one of the root causes of a deadly war that erupted in 2003, had been relatively rare in Darfur recently.

The latest incident marred the first day of the Eid Al Adha feast and it was Sudan’s first since months of protests brought down Bashir and created an opportunity for civilian rule.

The deadly conflict that broke out more than 15 years ago in Sudan saw ethnic African rebels take up arms against Bashir’s regime, which they accused of marginalising the remote region.

Khartoum armed Arab pastoralists to quash the rebellion, leading to massacres against the population that earned Bashir and others international warrants on charges of genocide.