Sudan’s ruling generals and protest leaders have reached an agreement to usher in a new period of transitional government, the African Union said.
The agreement came after prolonged negotiations between Sudan’s ruling military council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change, which has been leading the protest movement across Sudan for months.
“I am announcing to the Sudanese, African and international public opinion that the two delegations have fully agreed on the constitutional declaration,” AU mediator Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt told reporters.
Lebatt said meetings will be held to discuss a formal signing ceremony.
The document, which outlines the powers and the relationships between the branches of the transitional government, comes after weeks of protracted negotiations brokered by the African Union and neighbouring Ethiopia amid sporadic bouts of violence in the capital Khartoum and other cities.
Sudan has been in a state of political turmoil since the army ousted veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April, with dozens of demonstrators killed during street protests.
As news of the agreement emerged, people began gathering on Nile Street, a main avenue in the capital Khartoum, honking car horns and ululating in celebration.
“We’re victorious!” some people chanted while others sang the national anthem.
Lebatt said that representatives from both sides – civilian pro-democracy groups and the military – will continue talks on Saturday over the technical details of the accord.
Legal and technical teams still need to establish a timeline for the declaration to come into effect and for the transitional government to be appointed.
Once the transitional government starts work, Sudan embarks on a three-year transition period expected to lead to elections.
The main points of contention concerned the powers of the proposed joint civilian-military ruling body, the deployment of security forces and immunity for generals over protest-related violence.
Saturday’s announcement came after the military council announced nine paramilitaries had been arrested for killing four teenage demonstrators earlier this week.
The move against the paramilitary men of the feared Rapid Support Forces stemmed from the shooting of four schoolchildren and two other demonstrators during a rally against fuel and bread shortages in the city of Al-Obeid in North Kordofan on Monday.
The killings sparked anger across Sudan.
On Thursday, four more protesters were shot dead in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, just across the Nile from Khartoum, said doctors linked to the country’s protest movement.
“An investigation has been launched into the incident of Al-Obeid and seven members of the RSF were immediately dismissed and handed over to civilian judges for trial,” General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman for the ruling military council, told reporters earlier on Friday.
He also said that measures will be taken against those responsible for Thursday’s violence.