December 5, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese army, on Monday defended the coup of October 25, 2021, saying that it was not a mistake because it achieved its desired purpose: broadening political participation during the transitional period.
Military leaders and 52 political and civilian leaders signed a political framework agreement on Monday paving the way to the establishment of a fully civilian government and ending the military coup that exacerbated the country’s political crisis and raised the pace of violence in Sudan.
After the signing ceremony, Burhan spoke to several TV channels, saying that the agreement led to bringing additional forces to participate in the transition, including the Popular Congress Party, the Democratic Unionist Party and Ansar al-Sunna, along with the forces of the 2019 revolution.
The military leader refused to admit that “the coup was a mistake” as his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo “Hemetti” said during the ceremony.
“Perhaps this is his point of view, but when we took this step, we were fully convinced of its necessity and importance, and its fruits are now a new constitutional agreement,” al-Burhan told Al-Hadath TV.
Hemetti in his speech confessed that “what happened on October 25 was a political mistake that opened the door for the return of the counter-revolutionary forces”. The leader of the para-military forces was alluding to the return to the Islamists of the former regime.
The audience applauded the Rapid Support Forces Commander when he said there is a need “to acknowledge and apologise for the violence and mistakes of the state towards (different) communities throughout various historical eras”.
Hemetti further stressed that the” withdrawal of the military establishment from politics is crucial for the establishment of a sustainable democratic regime,” triggering another round of applause.
The coup and the severe political crisis the country experienced impacted the political forces and the coup leaders alike. Splits and internal rifts took place among political and military forces.
Al-Burhan stressed that the government that would be formed under this agreement will be entirely civilian, including the commander-in-chief of the regular forces, who will be a civilian figure appointed on the recommendation of the armed forces.
He added that a law should define the relationship between the commander-in-chief and the regular forces.
He also underscored that the government should be formed by independent figures as long as the political forces have no electoral mandate.
“Now, no party has a mandate, so it is better for the government to be composed of independents without party affiliations.”
Nevertheless, he said he does not object to a political figure taking over as prime minister if the political forces agree on that.
He quickly added that the negotiators of the political parties committed themselves during the talks not to participate in the new government.
Refuseniks maybe Jealous
Commenting on the rejection of the framework agreement by some armed groups of the Juba peace agreement, al-Burhan said the peace pact ensures their participation in the government.
“I think that the distance between what is stipulated in this agreement and their visions and ideas is not far. So, the gap can be bridged and unite their efforts with the rest of their colleagues,” he said.
In his statements to SkyNews Arabia, al -Burhan was more explicit on the position of the armed groups that are now hostile to the deal.
He stressed that those who refuse to sign have other reasons that can be explained by competition and jealousy, adding that all the parties agree on the issues included in the framework agreement.
“The other party share the same vision agreed today,” he said referring to the non-signatory groups.
“But maybe there is a difference in the degree of representation, or in the individuals involved. “I don’t say it’s jealousy, but there is a desire to take over the leadership on one side, and this is detrimental to the political process and the future of the transitional period,” he emphasized.
Minni Minnawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement and Gibril Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement had called for the coup d’état and supported al-Burhan during the past year.
However, they diverged when the military leaders accepted the idea of negotiating with the FFC to restore an inclusive civilian transitional government.
Al-Burhan stressed the need to rise above partisan interests and to put the national interest first in order to implement a successful transition and achieve the desired political and economic reforms.
In his remarks at the signing ceremony, he also reiterated that the agreement aims to uphold the interest of the country and end the political turmoil.