Khartoum, Sudan - A prominent Sudanese politician was released from jail on Sunday, a day before the civilian coalition he belonged to was due to sign an initial deal with the military to end a political standoff triggered in October 2021 by a coup.
The framework deal would, according to a copy seen by Reuters, involve a two-year, civilian-led political transition in which the military's role would be limited to a security and defense council headed by a prime minister.
But it sets no time for a final deal and leaves sensitive issues, including transitional justice and security sector reform, for further talks. It has already faced opposition from anti-military protest groups and Islamist factions loyal to the regime of Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in 2019.
Leftist politician Wagdi Salih, who was freed at a police station in the capital Khartoum, was at the forefront of an anti-corruption committee tasked with dismantling Bashir's regime.
Sudan has been without a prime minister since last year's coup, which halted a power-sharing arrangement between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition that was meant to lead to democratic elections. The FFC had called Salih's arrest in October 'purely political.'
After more than a year of mass protests against the coup and with Sudan's long crisis-ridden economy now stagnating after billions of dollars in international financial assistance was suspended, the military has recently adopted a more conciliatory stance towards pro-democracy groups.
It has, meanwhile, toughened its tone against Islamist supporters of Bashir's regime.
The military and the FFC said this week that they intended to sign the framework agreement on Monday, and the deputy leader of the current ruling council on Sunday met some powerful former rebel factions that have questioned the deal, urging them to back it.
Talks have been facilitated by the United Nations, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others.