May 2, 2019 (Washington, D.C.) – Today’s news from Khartoum indicate a lowering of the tension in the standoff between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Coalition of Freedom and Change, a coalition of professional and civil society organizations and opposition parties, and the major force behind the popular uprising in Sudan. This followed two days of heightened tensions during which the two parties appeared headed toward confrontation, stoked by threats from a military commander.
Dr. Suliman Baldo, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project, said: “The Sudanese have averted a Tiananmen Square-type of confrontation that seemed likely just yesterday. With a brave show of strength in numbers and unity of their ranks, Sudan’s peaceful pro-democracy protesters forced negotiations back on track with the Transitional Military Council that seems intent on evading the will of the people after the fall of the former dictator Omar al-Bashir. Only a rapid and full transfer of power to civilians will put an end to the crisis in Sudan.”
Further status report and analysis by Dr Baldo:
- Tensions had increased as Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Commander General Hemetti threatened to put an end to the sit-in in front of army headquarters using military force. The public response to Hemetti’s statement was immediate, with large processions from across the capital joining the sit-in location and people from other states sending busloads of supporters, with demands that power transfer to civilian control without further delay.
- Today, requesting a response from the TMC in writing, the opposition coalition representing the protesters put forward a draft constitutional order that spelled out mandates for the institutions of the transitional period, including a Sovereign Council with civilian and military composition and limited powers, a fully mandated cabinet that retains full executive powers, and a legislative council.
- The two parties sought to ease tensions with yet another confirmation from the TMC that it will never use force to break up the sit-in, and affirmations from the opposition coalition that they have not broken the dialogue with the TMC. A mediation committee of eminent personalities also stepped in to facilitate the talks and ease the communications.
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