Sudanese army rulers and protest leaders have agreed on a three-year transition period for transferring power to a full civilian administration even as negotiations over a new sovereign ruling body remain unfinished.

The protest movement is demanding a civilian-led transition following 30 years of iron-fisted rule by now deposed president Omar al-Bashir, but the generals who toppled him have been holding onto leadership.

Talks between the two sides resumed earlier in the week but were marred by violence when an army major and five protesters were killed by unidentified gunmen at a long-running sit-in outside military headquarters in Khartoum.

The two sides announced early today that they had reached an agreement on the transition period.

"We agreed on a transitional period of three years," Lieutenant General Yasser al-Atta, a member of the military council told reporters.

He said a final agreement on the sharing of power, including the forming of the next ruling body - the sovereign council - will be signed with the protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, within a day.

"We vow to our people that the agreement will be completed fully within 24 hours in a way that it meets the people's aspirations," he said.

The Lieutenant General said of the three-year transition period, the first six months will be allocated to signing peace accords with rebels in the country's war zones like Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

The army generals had initially insisted on a two-year transition period, while the protest leaders wanted four years.

The key negotiations however remain on the composition of the sovereign council, which the generals have insisted to be military led while the protest leaders want it to be majority civilian.

After the forming of the sovereign council, which will replace the existing ruling body made up solely of generals, a new transitional civilian government would be formed to run the country's day-to-day affairs.

That civilian government would work towards having the first post-Bashir elections after the end of the transition period.

Lieut Gen Atta said that during the transitional period the parliament will be composed of 300 members, of which 67% will be from the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the rest will be from other political groups.