Sudan’s military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has reiterated that the army will be brought under a new civilian-led government as talks on military reforms began on Sunday as part of a prolonged transition to civilian rule.
The military and political parties signed a deal in December that called for a civilian-led transition government that would oversee elections in two years. However, pro-democracy protest groups opposed the deal, demanding the inclusion of transitional justice and security reforms. Reform of the security forces is a key point of tension in discussions on the political process launched in December, envisaging generals’ exit from politics once a civilian government is installed.
Sudan’s army has a long history of staging military takeovers and has amassed substantial economic holdings. It wants to see the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which by some estimates has up to 100,000 fighters, integrated under its control. Created in 2013, RSF emerged from the Popular Defense Forces—a government-backed militia known as the Janjaweed—that longtime autocratic ruler al-Bashir unleashed a decade earlier in the western region of Darfur against non-Arab rebels, where it was accused of war crimes by rights groups.
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