Opposition-Military at Loggerheads


KHARTOUM – The opposition Alliance of Forces for Liberty and Change, which lead the protests that saw the downfall of dictator Omar Albashir, on Sunday said it no longer trusts the Transitional Military Council that intervened to topple Bashir.
In statements at a press conference and in the massive sit-in at the headquarters of the Sudanese Army in central Khartoum the Alliance said it would keep up its sit in and shelve talks with the Military Council.
The Alliance said the Military Council was trying to side-step the demands of the masses and “steal the revolution that offered about a hundred martyrs and hundreds of wounded by not handing over power to the civilians.”
It said the Military Council was trying to rule the country unilaterally and reproduce the defunct regime of Bashir.
The Alliance, an umbrella grouping of professional bodies and opposition parties, said the role of the Army is not to rule the country, but to protect the country.
It said it would not recognize any authority that comes by a military coup.
For his part, Chairman of the Transitional Military Council Lt. General Abdelfattah Alburhan, had earlier Sunday announced that his Council had in recent days received about a 100 proposed visions from the country’s political forces on how to run the country’s affairs during the transitional period up to the general elections.
He said he would reply to those proposals by weekend (Thursday), while the Alliance of the Forces for Liberty and Change has said government formation is its prerogative.
The Alliance had earlier put “an integrative vision on the structures, duties and regulations of the transitional government in keeping with the Declaration of Liberty and Change our people and its revolutionary forces had adopted.”
“We have provided the Armed Forces with a summary of that vision and have notified the Military Council of the steps the Alliance would take in the days following government take- over from the military,” it said.
The Alliance’s vision calls for setting up three levels of government. They are:
First: A state council (the presidency) that undertakes the sovereign duties of the country.
Second: A concise council of ministers to be made of qualified persons with professional experience and proven decency. This council will shoulder the executive responsibilities of the country and implement the emergency program of the transitional period.
Third: A transitional civilian council to undertake the transitional legislative responsibilities. Women will get no less than a 40% representation in this legislative council. It will embody all the revolution’s forces of women and youths and will observe the country’s ethnic, religious and diversity.
These three institutions will implement what the Sudanese masses had agreed upon in the Declaration of Liberty and Change, said the Alliance.
“We have faced intransigence on the part of the Transitional Military Council that does not seem serious to transfer power to the civilians, said one speaker at the Army headquarters’ sit in.
For his part, General Burhan said they were ready to transfer power to the civilians “tomorrow”, in his own words.
Press reports Sunday quoted Alliance unspecified sources as saying they were ready to share power with the Military Council. These reports said the Alliance would agree to General Burhan, his deputy Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, a few unspecified Army generals and a representative of the police force to be part of the proposed state council (the presidency). They (the Alliance) further wants other state council members to represent the regions of the country.  
Observers interpret this hint as an indication that the Alliance has no objection to the Military Council in principle but fear elements in this Council might be loyal to Bashir and his Islamic movement (what they call the deep state). They fear these military elements may deflect the revolution from its course and manipulate their offices to serve interests of the Islamists. By this they consider these unspecified elements as possible counter- revolutionaries who should be eliminated.
Experience of the previous days has shown that pressure by the masses surrounding the Army headquarters can make the military change its mind.
In general, Chairman Burhan appears to be flexible and ready to make compromises. He is known, according to army sources, to have no political leanings. He is a professional Army man.
Some elements in the Alliance are also showing a degree of flexibility. An instance of this is that Engineer Saiddiq Yousif (85),the second man in the Sudanese Communist Party, had at a certain point urged hardliners in the Alliance to engage the Military Council in talks to change its mood.

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