Cairo AU meeting agrees on 3-month transitional period towards civilian rule in Sudan

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Apr 2019

(Photo: Al-Ahram)

A joint statement from the consultative meeting of the regional partners of Sudan, which was held in Cairo on Tuesday under the auspices of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, agreed to give Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) a three-month grace period to form a government.

The meetings were held under the umbrella of the African Union (AU), which is chaired by Egypt in 2019.

The gathering was attended by a number of delegations from African countries including South Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Congo, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and other countries.

The participating countries affirmed their support for efforts to stabilise Sudan, maintain its unity, secure its borders and combat any illegal cross-border activities, including arms smuggling, organised crime and human trafficking.

The delegates highlighted the importance of "addressing the current situation and speeding up the restoration of constitutional order through a democratic political dialogue owned and led by the Sudanese people that includes all Sudanese factions," according to a statement released following the forum.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Egyptian presidency said that the African leaders at the consultation meeting on the crisis in Sudan, held under the umbrella of the African Union (AU) in Cairo on Tuesday, have agreed to give Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) a three-month grace period to form a government and outline the broad strokes of civilian rule in a transitional period for the country.

According to Egypt's presidential spokesman Bassam Rady, President El-Sisi, who chairs the AU in 2019, has succeeded in arguing for extending 15-day grace period given earlier to the TMC by the AU Commission to three months.

The leaders at the meeting agreed that the 15-day notice was insufficient for a transitional period.

The chief of the AU Commission Moussa Faki had delivered on Sunday a 15-day deadline to the TMC to transfer power to a civilian government during a visit to Sudan.

The final communiqué from the meetings said that "the high-level representatives expressed their full solidarity with the people of Sudan and their deep appreciation for the courage and determination demonstrated by the masses in their peaceful quest to realise their legitimate hopes and aspirations to launch a comprehensive process of peaceful democratic transformation that would bring stability, development and prosperity to Sudan."

"The African Union reaffirmed its commitment to the unity, sovereignty, integrity and cohesion of Sudan and its territorial integrity and expressed their full support for the role of the African Union, IGAD and neighbouring countries in supporting Sudan's efforts to overcome the political, security and economic challenges."

The participating countries stressed that there is "an urgent need for the Sudanese authorities and political forces to work together to address the current situation in Sudan and quickly restore the constitutional order through a democratic political dialogue owned by the Sudanese people and all Sudanese parties, including the armed groups, to achieve the hopes and aspirations of the Sudanese people." 

The leaders also stressed the importance of "establishing a comprehensive democratic political system, consolidating the rule of law, protecting and promoting human rights and achieving sustainable and effective economic development with the support of the African Union and the international community."

The foreign ministers of the participating countries were directed to hold a follow-up meeting within one month to consider developments in Sudan and report to the heads of state and government.

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