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Sudan's main protest groups lay out political vision

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By Reuters

CAIRO – The Sudanese groups leading protests against a military coup in October published a political charter for the first time on Sunday, setting out key demands they hope will unify civilian factions.

The charter announced by the Khartoum “resistance committees” lays out a two-year transition under a prime minister appointed by signatories to the document to serve as head of state and military commander-in-chief until a transitional legislature ratifies a constitution.

Military and civilian leaders involved in the Oct. 25 takeover would be brought to justice, the charter says. It rejects any negotiation with the military.

The charter is an effort to harness into a coherent political force the power of a street movement that has mobilised months of mass rallies, but has faced a crackdown by security forces in which dozens have been killed.

Resistance committee members have also been subject to arrest, though many were released last week during a visit by a United Nations official.

Sudan’s civilian parties have long struggled to assert themselves against a military that has staged repeated coups since independence in 1956. Established political parties were weakened by infighting during two years of power-sharing with the military following the overthrow of former ruler Omar al-Bashir in a 2019 uprising.

The “Charter for the Establishment of the People’s Authority” avoids some thorny social and economic issues and states that any group that was not part of the Bashir regime or the coup can sign up.

It does away with a 2019 transitional document that established the military-civilian partnership and calls for a comprehensive review of the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement, an effort to end decades of internal conflict in Sudan.

The charter also envisages special human rights courts and the option of resorting to international organisations to achieve transitional justice.