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Tension As Sudan’s Military Council Vows To Issue Own Draft Constitution

Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council has said it will publish its own suggested constitutional draft after disagreeing with some points in the opposition’s draft. A revised constitution is part of negotiated efforts between the military and protest groups to form a joint military-civilian council before elections. But protesters remain skeptical.

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council is to publish its own draft constitution on Monday, after disagreeing with parts of one proposed by an alliance of activists and opposition groups.

Spokesman for the TMC Shams El-Din Kabashi at a news conference Sunday said while there was some dispute, there was still room for negotiation.

He said, “for us it’s a good draft, it has many points we agree on it. With them (protesters), there are a lot of points of disagreement. And that can be handled with negotiations between us and them.”

The Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces alliance sent the draft on Thursday to the military.

Sudan’s protesters have been camped-out at the Defense Ministry since April 6, demanding a return to civilian rule after three decades under President Omar al-Bashir.

The military ousted Bashir on April 11 and declared a Transitional Military Council was in control for up to two years before elections.

But protesters like Muttaz Wali are skeptical that the TMC is willing to hand over power.

He said that the TMC doesn’t understand that its role is to deliver power. Instead, it’s starting to act like a real transitional government, says Wali. The TMC is speaking about enacting laws while the constitution is disabled, he said.

The military council agreed with opposition groups last month to form a joint council to lead a two-year transition period to elections. But, the two sides disagree about which should have a majority on the council – the military or civilians.

Sudan’s demonstrations erupted in December over the high price of bread and fuel, then quickly morphed into calls for Bashir to step down.

The military says it put Bashir in federal prison and he will face justice at home – not at the International Criminal Court where he is wanted for alleged war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Sudan’s prosecutor general said Bashir was questioned on Sunday over suspected money laundering and financing terrorism after large sums of foreign currency were found in suitcases in his home.


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