Sudan's military and opposition sign transition deal
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudan's Transitional Military Council and the opposition Freedom and Change Alliance signed the political and constitutional declarations on Saturday at a ceremony in the capital, Khartoum, after weeks of tortuous negotiations.
The historic deal paves the way for a transition to a civilian-led government after the ouster of Sudan's former President Omar al-Bashir months ago.
The political declaration determines the structures of the transitional period, including a sovereignty council, the council of ministers and the transitional legislative council.
The constitutional declaration determines the powers of the transitional-period structures and members of the transitional government which will last for 39 months.
A representative of the Freedom and Change Alliance, Mohamed Naji El Asam said, "Thanks to blood and sacrifices, this day has become a reality after it was a distant dream."
He added that signing the documents marks a new phase, vowing that comprehensive peace is a priority.
Sadiq al-Mahdi, leader of Sudan's opposition National Umma Party, said the signing of the documents constitutes "a day for entering the civilian rule which will place peace as a priority and then institutes for democracy".
Earlier this month, the two sides initialed a constitutional document in the wake of international pressure amid growing concerns that the political crisis that followed Bashir's ouster.
Before the beginning of the signing ceremony, Sudanese folkloric bands performed traditional songs and dances in front of the Friendship Hall, the ceremony site, to welcome the guests participating in the event.
Outside the Friendship Hall, hundreds of citizens gathered on a bridge overlooking the hall, raising Sudan's flags and signs bearing "Sudan's Joy" which is the motto of the celebration.
At Freedom Square, about 15 kilometers southeast of the hall, thousands of Sudanese citizens gathered to follow the signing ceremony of the two documents through giant screens inside the square.
Justice and judicial accountability are also among top priorities of the coming transitional government and the judicial institutions, he noted.
The coming phase is a test where there would be no exclusion with the doors open for everybody to participate in building the Sudan, he added.
The TMC's Chairman Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan stressed the importance for all components of the community to work together to achieve the goals of the revolution.
"Now we have surpassed the phase of preparation and are heading toward the phase of construction," said Burhan.
He vowed that the Sudanese Armed Forces and other regular forces would protect the revolution and ensure the civilian transition.
Members of the mediation team have also been honored during the signing ceremony.
Xinhua - AP