African Union suspends its participation in Sudan’s political process

Hentet fra  Sudantribune June 22th 2022

June 21, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – The African Union representative in Sudan Tuesday suspended his participation in the tripartite mechanism to protest his exclusion from the direct meetings between the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the military component.

The FFC National Coalition, which includes armed groups supporting the military coup, held a meeting with the African diplomats in Khartoum to explain its rejection of the direct meetings between the FFC and military leaders brokered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United States (US).

After the meeting, Minni Minnawi SLM leader and African Union Representative in Sudan Mohamed Belaiche spoke to the media to express their disapproval of the separate meetings.

“The African Union cannot continue in a process lacking transparency, honesty and inclusion, as well as respect for all actors and treat them with full and equal respect,” Belaiche told the media in a dramatic manner after virulent statements by the SLM leader Minnawi Minnawi.

“Therefore, based on the directives of the African Union leadership, I decided to not attend further hidden, evasive and opaque meetings in an exclusionary atmosphere,” he further stressed.

The African Union representative in Sudan did not mention the position of the African Union Envoy Mohamed el-Hacen Lebatt who is not positively perceived by the FFC groups and the Sudanese street.

The agitation of the AU representative and the National Consensus coalition took place after a second meeting held between the coup leaders and the FFC brokered by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia attended by the UNITMAS head on June 19.

The KSA-U.S. organized meetings aim to bring the two main rivals to agree on the implementation of confidence-building measures including the release of detainees and end of violence as the security forces continue to kill protesters deposit the formal lift of the state of emergency.

The second purpose of the bilateral meetings is to agree on the procedural arrangements of the intra-Sudanese dialogue and who is eligible to take part in the political process.

The military leaders back the participation of some Islamist groups and other forces that were allied to the al-Bashir regime with the support of the African Union team. While the FFC mainstream say the process must include the FFC declaration groups and the revolutionary forces such as the Resistance Committees.

African Union remains committed

Reached by the Sudan Tribune, Belaiche stressed the African Union’s commitment to the intra-Sudanese process, adding they would resume their participation if the situation changes.

“The African Union has not withdrawn from the mechanism, but it cannot continue meetings in an atmosphere other than transparency, non-exclusion, respect for all parties, and honesty in dealing with everyone,”. he said.

He added that they do not wish to repeat what happened in 2019, when the political agreement was limited to the FFC, pointing out that the political scene has changed in 2022.

“There are political parties that we cannot exclude from the dialogue, and everyone must participate, except for those banned by law,” he stressed.

Belaiche’s statements confirm the existence of a difference between the members of the Trilateral Mechanism, which would complicate further the resolution of the ongoing crisis in Sudan.

UNITAMS Head Volker Perthes, earlier this year, said he wanted the process includes the parties to the August 2019 political agreement and the constitutional declaration.

But, the African Union Envoy Lebatt echoed the position of the military component saying he always wanted to include all the Sudanese groups and not only the FFC coalition.

Minnawi on Tuesday denounced the “parallel process” held by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

After the meeting with the African diplomats to Sudan, the National Coalition welcomed the “strong position of the African Union”.

“The participants rejected any bilateral measures outside the framework of the Trilateral Mechanism,” further reads a statement the National Consensus issued after the meeting.

The Consensus added that they would address to the three facilitators a written position paper detailing their position from the process.

Source: African Union suspends its participation in Sudan’s political process – Sudan Tribune