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Sudan’s coup leaders and the country’s main pro-democracy group signed a deal Monday to create a civilian-led transitional government following last year’s military takeover, as the African country continues to reel from economic woes and ongoing anti-junta protests, the Associated Press reported.

The agreement offers the broadest outline for how the country will resume its progression towards democracy, which initially began following mass protests that led to the ousting of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

At the time, a transitional government of civilian and military leaders was created to usher Sudan toward democracy after decades of dictatorship. But that progress stalled in October 2021, when the military ousted the civilian half, a move that prompted international condemnation and ongoing demonstrations against army leaders.

The new deal came after months of negotiations between the military and the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, which were mediated by the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Britain.

Under the new deal, Sudan’s military will eventually retreat from politics and form a new “security and defense council” under the appointed prime minister.

Meanwhile, some elements of the deal are vague, including how the armed forces will be reformed or when the new transitional government will be put in place.

While the mediating countries welcomed the agreement, many key Sudanese players – including former rebel leaders – are boycotting it.

Political analysts have also questioned whether the goals of the new deal are achievable.

Others noted that the agreement might help draw new international aid for Sudan after donor funds dried up in response to last year’s coup.

Meanwhile, Sudan has also seen a sharp rise of inter-tribal violence in the country’s west and south, which many observers have attributed to the power vacuum caused by the coup, as well as the ongoing political and economic crises.

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