January 4, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – The Deputy Head of the Democratic Bloc endorsed an Egyptian proposal presented to hold a meeting between the signatories and non-signatories of the framework agreement saying it would yield better results to end the current political crisis.
On January 2, the head of the Egyptian intelligence agency Abbas Kamel held a series of meetings in Khartoum with the civilian and military signatories of the political framework agreement and the Democratic Block which gathers groups opposed to the deal.
It transpired that he proposed to host a meeting in Cairo gathering the two parties to reach an inclusive deal. The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) rejected the proposal and called to convince the signatories of the Juba peace agreement to join them.
In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, Gibril Ibrahim stressed that the Egyptian proposal is a valid alternative to the framework agreement.
“The proposed Cairo meeting would enable “the others to bring what they see good for them. Therefore, it is necessary to come up with something agreed upon by all the parties. The framework agreement is not agreed upon and does not gain unanimity,” said Ibrahim.
He confirmed that the Egyptian envoy called on the various Sudanese parties to hold a dialogue, but the venue of the meeting was not specified.
“The parties have not yet met (…). This is a vision we welcome, and we have no objection to it. The Egyptian official has the opinion that he should help the Sudanese to overcome their differences,” he added.
“This is a vision we welcome, and we have no objection to it. The Egyptian official’s intention is to help the Sudanese to overcome their differences,” stressed Ibrahim who is the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
He made it clear that parties – which he did not name – stand against the Egyptian proposal for some considerations, including that they are betting on other external parties that support their position. Also, they think that their supporters are more important than Egypt, and object to Cairo’s intervention”.
The FFC leaders told Sudan Tribune they declined the Egyptian proposal but stressed the importance of an Egyptian role within the framework of the deal.
The framework agreement is supported by the UN political mission in Sudan, the EU, and the Quad including the U.S. the UAE, the UK and Saudi Arabia.
The deputy head of the bloc censured the framework agreement, stressing that it is based on false references, contains fundamental flaws and resulted from secret meetings that brought together two parties under international pressure.
“The blatant foreign interference is unacceptable and the approach to reaching a settlement between two components of society is unacceptable. Also, the signed texts, namely the political and constitutional declaration, are not announced and the people have not been informed about them, as they talked about the peace agreement in an incorrect way,” he said.
JEM leader objected to the broad powers the framework agreement gives to the signatories in terms of appointing the prime minister, heads of commissions, judges’ and prosecution’s councils, saying it would lead to politicizing the judicial apparatus in Sudan.
He pointed out that calls to form an internal security apparatus despite the reservations of the signatories about the General Intelligence Service would create a new security apparatus to recruit the “militias” of political parties.
“A small group wants to monopolize power during the coming period and decide the fate of the country. We will not accept it,” he stressed.
Since the government of Abdallah Hamdok, the FFC forces called to reform the intelligence service saying it was infested with Islamist elements.
But al-Burhan took control of the agency and appointed a military to reorganize it. Under the new transitional constitution, the agency would be under the interior ministry.
Al-Burhan chaired meeting
Ibrahim confirmed reports about meetings between the FFC and the Democratic Block brokered by the head of the Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, during the past weeks, to discuss ways to reconcile the two groups.
He said the two sides agreed to form a joint committee to consider their reservations on the framework agreement.
He deplored that the FFC did not name its representatives to the agreed committee until now.
The political leader said that the FFC has no right to determine who should join the process. Further, he denied the existence of international pressure on his group and the Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) to join the agreement.
“We will not succumb to any pressure from any party and we will support what we see as reunifying. The attempt at exclusion is what brought us to the current crisis,” he said.
“A small group wants to monopolize power in the coming period and decide on this fate of the country, which we will not accept,” he added.
In return, he directed harsh criticism to those who call for the cancellation of the Juba peace agreement saying they are jealous of the positions the signatories got in accordance with the peace agreement.
He further stressed that they are ignorant of what the situation will lead to in the event of its cancellation, alluding to the return of war in the country and the probable secession of the Darfur region.
The Democratic Bloc rejects the transitional constitution and calls to maintain the 2019 constitutional declaration.
The signatories of the framework agreement say that efforts are underway to persuade the holdout groups to join them but at the same time continue forums and meetings to settle the five sticky issues before the formation of a new civilian transitional government.