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Civil society groups call for more African pressure on Sudan’s junta

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April 29, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese human rights and civil society groups have called on the Peace And Security Council (PSC) of the African Union to support Sudanese people aspiration for democracy and to not extend the 15-day ultimatum issued earlier this month.

The SPC will discuss on Tuesday a recommendation by African leaders to give Sudan’s ruling military council 90-day time to hand over power to a transitional government instead of 15 days as it was decided earlier this month.

In a letter addressed to the PSC and the head of the African Union Commission seen by Sudan Tribune, the 27 Sudanese groups said that this recommendation is not in line with AU principles, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance.

"We are also concerned that the extended delay in applying AU resolutions on the matter may embolden the TMC to consolidate its hold on power and impose on the Sudanese another military rule behind a powerless civilian cabinet that the TMC is declaring it is willing to constitute," they stressed.

The Sudanese military council first refused to recognize the revolutionary legitimacy of Freedom and Change force and deal with them as their sole interlocutor to form the transitional institutions.

Under the pressure of the Sudanese street, the Islamists generals who were tasked with the talks with the political forces resigned.

Now, the Council discusses with the opposition groups on the power transfer but the discussions are at a very slow pace as the country continue to be without a government for more than three weeks.

The civil society groups called on the PSC to impose "bi-lateral sanctions including visa denials, restrictions of government-to-government contacts, and trade restrictions if power is not expeditiously turned over to civilian hands".

Also, they called to press "the de facto authorities to engage meaningfully with the pro-democracy opposition representing the protesters’ concerns and warning further sanctions should violence be used".

The Sudanese activists called on the African Union to propose a comprehensive package of political and material support for the transition to a new civilian transitional government once this is constituted.

(ST)

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