21 June 2019

Sudan: Political Crisis - IGAD Calls for Unified African Mediation

Photo: Ayman Suliman/UN Sudan
Protesters take to streets in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on April 11, 2019.

Addis Ababa — The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will "assume a leading role to coordinate all efforts to bring sustainable peace in the Sudan".

In its 68th Extra-Ordinary Session held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Wednesday June 19, the Council of Ministers of the IGAD (an East African eight-country trade bloc) discussed the situation in Sudan.

Concerning the violent dispersal of protesters at the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum in the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, the IGAD Council of Ministers expressed "its deep regrets over the tragic incident of 3 June 2019".

The Council called on the Transitional Military Council (TMC) "to exercise maximum restraint to avoid further loss of lives" and on "all other parties to avoid actions that would escalate tensions".

It further expressed its commitment "to urgently bring all actors in Sudan together for the resolution of their differences and to ensure an all-inclusive, Sudanese-led process and outcome that remedies the situation" in the country.

Mediators

The IGAD Council stated in its communiqué of the meeting that it appreciates the initiative of Ethiopian Prime Minister and chairman of the IGAD Summit, Dr Abiy Ahmed, to mediate between the TMC and the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC).

The Council further acknowledged "the good efforts" of Amb. Mohamoud Dirir, Special Envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister for Sudan, and decided "to support the Special Envoy's continued engagement in the Process".

In addition, the IGAD expressed its appreciation for the work of the Special Advisor of the chairman of AU Commission [AUC] to Sudan in the mediation process.

Recently, problems arose between the AU Commission adviser to Sudan and the IGAD mediator to Sudan over the leadership of the mediation attempts. The IGAD now decided "to coordinate its efforts with the Special Advisor of the chairperson of the AUC based on the principle of subsidiarity and to ensure coherence and synergy between IGAD and AUC in the spirit of African solution to African problems".

The East African bloc further underscored its concern "over the interference of other external actors and proliferation of initiatives; and calls for all external actors to rally behind the IGAD and AU mediation process".

It considers "the domestic and regional circumstances that have an impact on exacerbating the existing situation in the Sudan; and underscores the urgent need to work towards reinstating order and ensuring stability in the Republic of Sudan".

Arab League, Troika

On Sunday June 16, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, held talks with the military junta and the Alliance for Freedom and Change in Khartoum, in an attempt to break the negotiation deadlock.

The Sudan Troika (USA, the UK, and Norway) are meeting in the German capital today, to discuss the situation in Sudan. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt have been invited to the meeting as well, as those countries are backing the TMC.

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