July 5 (UPI) -- After months of protests, Sudanese military leaders agreed Friday to share power until new elections can be held in three years.
The breakthrough agreement led to celebrations on the streets in Khartoum after months of political turmoil. Sudan has been in political chaos since longtime leader Omar Al-Bashir was ousted in a coup in April. The African Union and neighboring Ethiopia helped negotiate the deal.
"The two sides have also agreed on establishing a sovereign council by rotation between the military and civilians for a period of three years or slightly more," African Union envoy to Sudan Mohamed Hassan Lebatt said. "They have also agreed upon forming a civilian government called the government of independent skillful patriotism, headed by a prime minister of similar qualities."
Under the deal, the military will be in charge for the first 18 months before a civilian-run administration takes over for the remaining 18 months. Also, both sides agreed to postpone the creation of a legislative council until the sovereign and civilian government is in order.
Transitional Military Council deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo praised the development.
"We would ... like to reassure all political forces, armed movements and all those who participated in the change from young men and women that this agreement will be comprehensive and will not exclude anyone," he said. "[It] will also reach up to the ambitions of the Sudanese people and its pure revolution."
Both sides also agreed to investigate violence that's occurred in Sudan in recent weeks. Seven people have been killed and 181 hurt in recent clashes with the ruling military forces.
Some protesters doubt the deal's legitimacy.
"We were saying: 'Congratulations, is this real?" Lena al-Sheikh told BBC News. "Because until June 30, the military council has shown that ... there was brutality against protesters, people died, people were hurt and we were thinking maybe this is never going to happen, maybe we are never going to reach an agreement."