AU suspends Sudan until civilian-led authority established

Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone and Chairperson of the African Union Peace and Security Council Patrick Kapuwa (C) Speak during a press briefing regarding the situation of Sudan at the African Union, in Addis Ababa. THE HOMELAND MEDIA GROUP/Photo

The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council has suspended Sudan from African Union, citing the recent violent crackdown on protesters in Sudan and failure by the military council in Khartoum to hand over power to civilians.

The African Union (AU) suspended Sudan on Thursday, demanding a “civilian-led transitional authority” to resolve an entrenched and bloody crisis.

“The AU Peace and Security Council has with immediate effect suspended the Republic of Sudan in all AU activities until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority, as the only way to allow the Sudan to exit from the current crisis,” the AU Peace and Security members said in a statement issued shortly after Thursday’s extra-ordinary meeting on Sudan.

The AU Peace and Security Council meeting was convened to evaluate the Khartoum crisis.

The AU chairperson, Moussa Faki, has also dispatched his special envoy to Khartoum to among other things hold talks with the military and civilian leadership to forge a way forward as the country struggles to reach consensus on the political question.

“My special envoy is currently in Khartoum and [he is] holding talks with all the parties. I look forward to brief the African Union Peace and Security Council when it meets to evaluate the current situation in Sudan,” Faki said.

Faki said that he has also briefed the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy about AU’s position on Sudan crisis, saying that it is vital for the international community to speak with one voice and convince warring parties to resume talks on a consensual transition.

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the chief of the military council in Sudan in the capital Khartoum. THE HOMELAND MEDIA GROUP/ Photo

The US embassy in Khartoum has also called for the immediate release of one of the leaders of the civilian movement, Yassir Arman, who was reportedly arbitrarily arrested and beaten.

“We call for his immediate release. Yassir returned to Khartoum to engage in peaceful dialogue. His arrest undermines the junta’s claims that they are interested in negotiating a transition to civilian rule,” the US embassy I Khartoum noted in a statement.

In April, the Sudanese military overthrew an elected Government led by President Omar Al-Bashir, a move AU said, does not conform with the aspirations of the 2000 African Union Constitutive Act.

The AU Security Council had given the Sudanese military 15 days to hand over power to civilians but the negotiations stalled, forcing AU officials to extend the ultimatum for another ten days.

However, on June, fresh protests erupted in Khartoum, with the Sudanese military killing over 100 civilians.

The AU has condemned the brutal arrest and killing of civilian protestors.

In a statement, Faki said: “I strongly condemn the violence that erupted in Sudan and led to reported deaths and several injuries. I call for an immediate and transparent investigation in order to hold all those responsible accountable.”

Faki also called upon the transitional military council to protect civilians from harm.


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