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African mediators call for swift resumption of Sudan’s talks

July 31, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The joint African mediation Wednesday, called for the swift resumption of negotiations on power transfer and warned that great damage may result from additional delay of the discussions on the constitutional declaration.

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Ethiopian mediator and AU envoy speak to reporters in a joint press conference on 2 July 2019 (SUNA photo)

"The slowdown in the signing of the constitutional declaration by both the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) may cause great damage to the country, the region and Africa," said the African Union Envoy Mohamed El Hacen Lebbat in a news conference held with Ethiopian Mediator Mahmoud Dirir in Khartoum.

 He stressed that the completion of talks on the constitutional declaration is "the most urgent matter," adding, "We call on everyone to recognize this urgency and necessity that serves Sudan."

 The joint technical committee of the TMC and the FFC has completed the two-thirds of the constitutional declaration, FFC sources told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday before a meeting scheduled in the evening.

Lebbat said that talks would resume once the technical team conclude its works without indicating any date.

"If the constitutional declaration is passed quickly, it will open the door for the formation of a civilian government headed by a figure chosen by the FFC, and the formation of a Sovereign Council with a majority of civilians," he said.

 He also pointed out that the signing of the declaration "will pave the way for the formation of an independent commission to investigate the bloody attack on the pro-democracy sit-in on June 3 and other acts of violence. This would also contribute to improving the economic situation in the country."

He further said that the provisions of the constitutional declaration "include basic paragraphs in order to achieve peace and address the issue of marginalization."

In addition, the "Constitutional Declaration" will define the duties and responsibilities of the proposed Sovereign Council" during the three-year transitional period.

The African envoy condemned the killing of schoolchildren during a peaceful protest in El-Obeid last Monday.

"We urgently demand the arrest of the perpetrators and to bring them to a speedy trial," the African mediator said.

Six protesters were killed, including four students, and 62 others were injured Monday during a march in El-Obeid according to the latest statement of the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors.