Addis Ababa — The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), which on May 1 granted Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC), a 'final extension' of two months, to hand-over power to a transitional civilian government, or face suspension, has urged "all Sudanese stakeholders to continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis".
In an official communiqué following a meeting of the AUPSC in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday, which heard the three-weekly report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Sudan, the AU reiterates its denunciation of the military coup and underlines "the urgent need for a rapid solution to the current crisis based on the respect of the will and aspirations of the people of Sudan".
The TMC seized power on April 11 by means of a coup, overthrowing the 30-year regime of President Omar Al Bashir, who himself seized power in a coup in 1989.
In an initial reaction on 15 April, the AUPSC denounced the coup d'état, and gave the TMC 15 days to relinquish power to a civilian interim government, on pain of possible suspension of Sudan's AU membership.
A meeting of AU leaders in Cairo on April 23 recommended allowing the junta three months to relinquish power to civilian authority, however at a subsequent meeting in Tunis on May 1, the AUPSC decided on "a final extension of 60 days".
Freedoms and human rights
In its latest communiqué, the AUPSC reiterates "the legitimate aspirations of the Sudanese people to the opening of the political space in order to be able to democratically design and choose institutions that are representative and respectful of freedoms and human rights."
It reaffirms "the continued solidarity of the African Union with the people of Sudan in their aspirations to constitutional framework and institutions that will allow Sudan to make progress in its efforts towards the democratic transformation of the country."
The communiqué reiterates the AU's "condemnation and total rejection, through its zero tolerance policy, of all forms of unconstitutional changes of government, in particular through military coup d'etat".
The AUPSC underlines 'the urgent need for a rapid solution to the current crisis based on the respect of the will and aspirations of the people of Sudan to democratic transformation'
It further underlines "the urgent need for a rapid solution to the current crisis based on the respect of the will and aspirations of the people of Sudan to democratic transformation, as well as for an inclusive consensus among all concerned Sudanese stakeholders, within the framework of the relevant AU instruments".
The AUPSC acknowledges the progress made so far in the search for a solution to the constitutional crisis in the Sudan, in particular with regard to the agreement reached on duration of the Transition, the Transitional Institutions and the priorities of the transition, while reaffirming that the ultimate objective of the process is to put in place a civilian-led inclusive Transition, as demanded by Council, and calls on all Sudanese stakeholders to uphold the supreme interest of their country above all other consideration; in this regard, calls upon the military and the civilian stakeholders to continue working together towards a consensual solution to the current crisis."
The communiqué reiterates the call by the AUPSC on external actors "to refrain from any interference" that could further complicate the already challenging situation in Sudan.
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