The signing of a political agreement to appoint a Sudanese civilian government has been postponed until April 6, the official says.
Sudan’s leaders have delayed signing an agreement planned for Saturday to continue a short-lived democratic transition, an official said, amid continued disagreements between military factions.
A spokesman for the negotiating process, Khalid Omar Yousif, said on Twitter on Saturday that the military and civilian sides had unanimously agreed to “redouble efforts to overcome remaining obstacles within days and pave the way for the signing of a final political agreement on April 6.”
The signing of the agreement was delayed due to a lack of “consensus on some outstanding issues,” Yousif said earlier in the day.
The October 2021 coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan derailed the process that began after the ouster of General Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
Representatives spent weeks negotiating the agreement, the final part of a two-phase political process launched in December to set the terms for reviving the transition to civilian rule and democratic elections.
Reform of the security forces is a key point of contention in the talks, which foresee the generals’ exit from politics once a civilian government is installed.
The December deal, which critics condemned as “vague”, was negotiated by Burhan with multiple factions after almost a week of protests since the 2021 coup.
The proposed reforms include integrating into the regular army the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF), led by Burhan’s deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
Created in 2013, the RSF grew out of the People’s Defense Forces, sometimes called the “Janjaweed,” which al-Bashir launched a decade earlier in the western Darfur region against non-Arab rebels. Human rights groups have since accused the militia of committing war crimes.
While experts pointed to worrying rivalries between Burhan and Daglo, the two appeared side by side last week, speaking in the capital Khartoum to plead for successful integration.
But the talks are at a standstill due to, according to observers, ongoing disputes over the timetable for the integration of the RSF.
Al Jazeera journalist Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said that “the army wants the group to be integrated into it by the end of the two-year transition period.
“They also want an assessment of the officers and ranks of the RSF officers saying that it should be reviewed because they did not enter the military academy and were promoted according to standards that were not compatible with the standards of the army.
“When it comes to the question of the integration of the RSF, which has repeatedly said that it is part of the army, it boils down to the mutual relationship between the army and the RSF. The technical committee is working to try to reach an agreement in the next five days so that the final contract can be signed by April 6,” said Morgan.