Euphoria grips Sudan as historic transition agreement reached
Rapturous crowds filled the streets of Khartoum Saturday as Sudan’s generals and protest leaders signed a historic deal paving the way for civilian rule.
Thousands of cheering people gathered around the Friendship Hall next to the Nile, where the documents that will govern the country’s 39-month transition were signed.
“This is the biggest celebration I have ever seen in my country. We have a new Sudan,” said Saba Mohammed, a veiled 37-year-old woman, waving a small plastic flag.
Minutes earlier, the deal had been signed by Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, deputy chief of the military council, and Ahmed al-rabie, representing the Alliance for Freedom and Change protest umbrella.
Heads of state, prime ministers and dignitaries from several countries – including Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egypt’s premier Mustafa Madbuli – attended the ceremony.
The constitutional declaration formalizes the creation of a transition administration that will be guided by an 11-member sovereign council, comprised of six civilians and five military figures.
After brandishing a signed green book containing the transition documents, protest leader Mohamed Naji al-assam called on the military council to work “together to establish a sustainable democracy.”
The agreement brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that saw masses mobilize against president Omar al-bashir, who was ousted in April after 30 years in power.
Thousands of people had arrived on trains from Sudan’s provinces to take part in the celebrations, which will include a huge gathering in Khartoum’s main gardens.
“We hope Sudan can move forward now, we want to be proud of our country,” said Saida Khalifa as she got off the train after an all-night ride from Atbara, the town where the protests started in December last year.
“The guns must go silent now and we must pull the country out of this mess to gain peace and freedom,” she said.
The celebrations lasted deep into the night, with people of all ages spilling out of honking cars cruising up and down the main road that runs along the Nile and other parts of Khartoum.
The composition of the civilian-majority transitional ruling council is to be announced on Sunday.
Sudanese celebrate outside the Friendship Hall in the capital Khartoum where generals and protest leaders signed a historic transitional constitution meant to pave the way for civilian rule in Sudan, on Saturday.