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US welcomes Sudan’s power-sharing deal

US welcomes Sudan’s power-sharing deal

Washington: The US on Saturday welcomed an agreement forged by Sudan’s ruling military council and the civilian opposition group to share power during a transition period until elections, saying it is an important step forward towards the ending of the political crisis in the African nation.

“The United States government welcomes the progress in negotiations which we hope will lead to the establishment of a civilian-led transitional government that is broadly acceptable to the Sudanese people. We commend the mediators from the African Union and Ethiopia for their ongoing efforts,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

“Special Envoy for Sudan Don Booth will continue to support the African Union/Ethiopia-led mediation process and will be returning to the region soon,” she added.

On Friday, the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and Forces for Freedom and Change reached the deal and agreed to establish a joint military-civilian sovereign council in Sudan that will rule the country for a period of three years, according to African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt.

“We look forward to immediate resumption of access to the internet, establishment of the new legislature, accountability for the violent suppression of peaceful protests, and progress toward free and fair elections,” Ortagus said.

Under the agreement, both the military and civilian opposition agreed to initiate a “transparent and independent investigation” into the violence which began on June 3 when around 113 people were killed during a military crackdown on a pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum, Al Jazeera reported.

The deal has revived hopes for a peaceful transition of power in Sudan, which has been rocked by violent protests in April which saw the ouster of longtime autocratic leader Omar al-Bashir.

Mass protests, first against the al-Bashir regime, and now the TMC have been ongoing in Sudan.

The TMC was formed after the military overthrew al-Bashir on April 11 in a coup. Protesters have been demanding the military council to transfer power to a civilian-led government.

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