Joint panel to steer Sudan transition
A protester paints a mural outside the army headquarters in Khartoum on Sunday.
Khartoum - Agreement would replace the existing military council that took power after the army ousted veteran leader Omar Al Bashir.
Sudanese protesters on Sunday welcomed a breakthrough in talks with army rulers who agreed to form a joint civilian-military council, paving the way for the civilian administration demanded by demonstrators.
Saturday's agreement would replace the existing 10-member military council that took power after the army ousted veteran leader Omar Al Bashir on April 11 amid massive protests.
"What happened yesterday is a step to have a civilian authority," said Mohamed Amin, one of thousands of demonstrators who have been camped for weeks outside the army headquarters.
"We are happy about the progress in the talks, but we are still waiting for the composition of the council and the civilian government."
The joint civilian-military council will be the overall ruling body, while a new transitional civilian government is expected to be formed to run the day-to-day affairs of the country, a key demand of protesters.
That civilian government will work towards having the first post-Bashir elections.
"When we have a civilian government, then we can say our country is on the right track," said Amin. The demonstrators said they will pursue their sit-in until a civilian administration is set up.
"Last night's agreement is a step forward in the stability of our country. But I don't think we will leave the sit-in until we achieve our demand of a civilian government," said protester Sawsan Bashir.
Protest leader Ahmed Al Rabia confirmed to AFP the decision to form a joint council. "We are now in consultation about what percentage of the council should be represented by civilians and how much by the military," said Rabia, who is involved in talks.
On Sunday, protest leaders from the Alliance for Freedom and Change met to discuss the progress of talks with the military council.
Later, the joint committee bringing together the military and protest leaders was expected to resume talks.
Activists say the new council could be a 15-member body, with eight civilians and seven army generals.
The decision to have a joint council came after hours of talks on Saturday, the first by a joint committee representing the current ruling military leadership and protesters. Bashir was ousted by the army after months of protests against his three-decade rule.
Thousands of demonstrators, braving volleys of tear gas fired by security forces, reached the sprawling military headquarters on April 6, demanding that the army support those opposing Bashir. Five days later, the army toppled Bashir and took power through the transitional military council.