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Sudan’s transition accord delayed as protests against continue

The head of Sudan’s army says he remains committed to a plan for a new transition towards elections, despite disputes over the integration of a paramilitary force.

Twice already, disputes over the force, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), have delayed the signing of The agreement, which provides for the formation of a civilian government that is strongly supported by the international community. It is meant to end a political vacuum that followed an October 2021 coup.

But the signing was postponed for a second time late on Wednesday as the army and the powerful paramilitary RSF continued negotiations over what commitments they would make on military restructuring, Reuters reported.

The agreement faces opposition from pro-democracy “resistance committees” that reject negotiations with the military and have led anti-military protests since the coup, which derailed a previous political transition.

They held the largest mass demonstrations seen this year across Sudan on Thursday to mark the fourth anniversary of a 2019 sit-in that led to the overthrow of long-time autocratic ruler, Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

A recent Reuters report quotes Sudanese political and military sources as saying that tensions between the army and RSF have come to the surface in recent weeks over the proposed timeline for integration of the RSF into the military.

While the army wants two years, the RSF says 10 years are required and that restructuring should include internal reform within the army, the sources have said.