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Rivals In Oil Producer Sudan Reach Power-Sharing Deal

The military and the opposition, Sudan’s main rival groups since the long-term president was ousted in April, reached on Friday a power-sharing agreement that could stop months of violence in the African oil producer.

The army and the opposition agreed to create “a sovereign council by rotation between the military and civilians for a period of three years or slightly more,” Mohamed Hassan Lebatt, mediator for the African Union (AU), said on Friday.  

Under the power-sharing agreement, the military will hold the presidency for the first 18 months, and then an administration run by civilians will take over for the remaining 18 months.

In early April, Omar al-Bashir, long-term President of Sudan, was toppled from power by the military and placed under “heavy guard”, following months of protests against the government and its handling of a severe economic crisis in the country.

Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said at the time that there would be a two-year transition period of military rule and a council governing the country.

Civilians, however, have been protesting since the coup, demanding civilians have a role in governing the country, not only the military.

Days before the power-sharing deal was agreed, violent protests killed several people in Sudan.

Sudan, a relatively small African oil producer, has been plagued by economic hardships since South Sudan seceded in 2011. South Sudan broke from Sudan that year and took with it around 350,000 bpd in oil production.

After South Sudan’s secession from Sudan, the two countries have been mutually dependent on oil revenues, because the south has 75 percent of the oil reserves, while the north has the only current transport route for the oil to international markets.

As of the end of last year, Sudan still hoped that it could be able to increase its crude oil production from 75,000 bpd to 120,000 bpd within a year. The country also targets to start exports of oil within the next three to five years.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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