Sudan’s ruling military council and pro-democracy protesters on Sunday signed a constitutional declaration aimed at paving the way for a transition to civilian rule after the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and months of unrest.

Protest leaders hugged and congratulated one another with smiles after officials from both sides signed the agreement. Representatives of both sides lifted up their copies of the deal.

“Today, we turn a conflict-ridden page in Sudan’s history,” Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, the Deputy Chief of the military council which took over after  Al-Bashir’s ouster said at the signing event.

Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the military council told Al Hadath, a news channel that the agreement was what the Sudanese people were waiting for since their independence from Britain in 1956.

The African Union envoy, Mohamed el-Hassan Lebatt had announced at a news conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, shortly before dawn on Saturday that the two sides had reached an agreement for a three-year transitional period, prompting applause and celebrations in the streets.

The agreement comes after a popular uprising that began in December with a demonstration against the soaring price of bread. The protests expanded into a movement that led to the removal of Omar al-Bashir after 30 years in power.