African Union denounces ‘dishonest’ Sudan talks
NNN: The African Union has said it will not be part of talks that exclude major players in an effort to get Sudan’s transition back on track after last year’s military coup.
Sudan’s main civilian actors have so far boycotted talks with military leaders launched under international auspices earlier this month to reach a political settlement that would allow the restoration of desperately needed Western aid.
“The AU cannot continue these dishonest and opaque discussions that marginalize participants or treat them unfairly,” the bloc’s ambassador to Sudan, Mohammed Belaiche, told reporters on Tuesday night.
But the AU denied that it was abandoning the so-called “troika” of sponsors of the talks process, which also includes the United Nations and the East African regional grouping IGAD.
That was a “misinterpretation” of Belaiche’s comments, his delegation said in a clarification on Wednesday.
“The representative of the AU affirms that he will not attend some of the activities because they are not transparent, they do not respect all the participants and they do not conform to the principle of non-exclusion from the political process.”
The pan-African bloc suspended Sudan after the military overthrow on October 27 of a joint civil-military transitional government installed following the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 by the army.
Many foreign donors cut aid, which accounts for 40 percent of state revenue, prompting military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to agree to talks launched by the troika this month.
But the talks have been undermined by a boycott by all major civilian actors, including Sudan’s established political parties and groups that emerged from the mass protests that led to Bashir’s ouster.
Since US envoys failed to persuade civilians to give the talks a chance, the process has been suspended indefinitely.
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