Sudan: African Mediator Mohamed Alhassan Lebatt

Soldiers protect civilian protestors during Khartoum sit-in on 8 April 2019.

When assigned by the African Union to mediate a solution for the Sudanese political crisis, Mauritanian Diplomat Mohammad Alhassan Lebatt said in a statement to the press that his mission would not be an easy one.

But Mr. Lebatt with his profound diplomatic experience, aided by his Ethiopian counterpart Mahmood Derair and the wise men of the Sudanese society, has managed to engineer the deal between the civilians in the Forces For the Declaration of Freedom and Change (FDFC) and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) on ways of running the interim period until general elections are held after 39 months.

According to Alsudani Arabic daily newspaper, Mr. Lebatt had broken into tears when the FDFC negotiators refused to talk directly to the TMC negotiators until certain conditions are met.

He said he was so sad that the Sudanese great peaceful revolution, that deserves to be taught in institutes of political science, would be wasted and with it the country as a whole.

The FDFC negotiators were sad over the brutal dispersing of the popular sit-in at the Army headquarters. They argued that they would not talk directly to the TMC until the latter agrees to form an independent investigation committee in the sit-in massacre, release the political detainees and restore internet service.

Here Mohammed Sidahmed, the daring member of the Revolutionary Front (one of the components of the FDFC) said he will give it a try with his fellow negotiators. He went to them and asked whether they would accept to talk directly if he gets them a written undertaking from a TMC member accepting their pre-conditions. The FDFC agreed to Sidahmad's proposal.

Sidahmed then went to TMC strongman Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo (Hemaidti) who wrote the undertaking and then the FDFC delegates joined the direct talks that culminated in the political document for running the institutions of the transitional period.

Professor Lebatt had studied law in the University of Nouakchott, obtained a post-graduate degree from France and then became dean of the University's Faculty of Law. Then he became Vice Chancellor of that University during 1991-1997. He was member of the panel that wrote Mauritania's first plural democracy constitution in 1991.

In the late 1990s Mr. Labatt was appointed foreign minister of Mauritania, then representative of Mauritania in the African Union during 2003-2005, then ambassador to South Africa and Ethiopia after which he resigned government service and worked in international organizations like the Francophone organization that brings together 55 countries.

Mr. Lebatt then became AU representative in Kigali to help restore stability and peace in war-torn Central African Republic.

Then in 2017 the AU appointed him strategic advisor to its peace and security commission when he undertook sensitive dossiers like the political crisis in the Congo. In this he played a pivotal role in ending the crisis in that country after which he write a book that has become a reference in crises-management in Africa.

Prof. Lebatt has strong links with African heads of state and International organizations active in the African Continent. He has also established a network of academic and diplomatic relationships with international personalities and universities.

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