May 17, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – United States, and western partners Friday discussed in Washington ways to support a civilian-led democratic transition in Sudan and called for the resumption of talks to finalize an agreement on power handover.
The meeting which was convened by Tibor Nagy the U.S. State Department’s assistant secretary for Africa was attended by diplomats from the African Union, United Nations, European Union, Ethiopia as the chair of IGAD, Germany, France, the UK and Norway.
In tweets he posted after the meeting, Nagy said the participants “committed to coordinating efforts to encourage the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition to reach an agreement as soon as possible on an interim government that is truly civilian-led and reflects the will of the Sudanese people”.
On Tuesday 14 May, the TMC and Sudanese opposition forces agreed to a three-year transitional period also the FFC forces would have two-thirds of the seats on a legislative assembly.
However, after the shooting on civilians for the second day the army cancelled a meeting that had to discuss the composition of a sovereign council.
The TMC spoke about infiltrators saying they were behind the attack. They pointed to the need to create conducive atmosphere saying the opposition forces have three days to remove the roadblocks before to resume discussions.
Nagy said the meeting called on the Sudanese parties to immediately resume talks and discussed ways to support the standing-up of a civilian-led government.
“We also discussed ways to support a civilian-led interim government in the future to implement the political and economic reforms and institution building needed for a stable transitional period leading to free and fair elections in Sudan, and to facilitate economic growth and prosperity,” he stressed.
The 30-year rule of Islamists in Sudan led to the isolation of the east African nation which is in the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and faces important economic challenges besides internal armed conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas.
According to the U.S. top diplomat for Africa, he and the other participants underlined their support for the African Union’s efforts in Sudan particularly the decision of the Peace and Security Council to give the TMC two-month delay to hand over power to a civilian-led government.
The meeting, also, voiced concern about the recent violence directed by “security forces against protesters”, and called on the military council to allow peaceful protests and hold accountable those responsible for recent violence.
Five civilians and one military were killed and over a hundred protesters were injured following attacks on Monday and Tuesday by Sudanese security forces on protesters in the streets surrounding the sit-in area outside the arm headquarters in Khartoum.