PSC hold a virtual meeting on Sudan on November 15, 2023
The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council convened a virtual meeting on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Sudan. The meeting, held at the level of foreign ministers, was attended by representatives from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
This meeting aligns with the AU’s efforts to implement a comprehensive roadmap endorsed last May, which emphasizes an African-led and Sudanese-owned approach to resolving the crisis.
In a briefing on the recent round of ceasefire talks in Jeddah, Workneh Gebeyehu IGAD Executive Secretary and co-facilitator urged for an immediate ceasefire to end the violence. He further called for international support for the ongoing efforts to bring peace and stability to Sudan.
Mike Hammer, U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and co-facilitator of the Jeddah process, also briefed the meeting on the discussions between the warring parties. The U.S. State Department reiterated its commitment to working closely with the AU to end the fighting in Sudan and support a Sudanese civilian-led process to restore Sudan’s democratic transition.
Sameh Shoukry Egyptian Foreign Minister stressed the need for coordination between effective international and regional efforts to resolve the crisis. He also underscored the initiative of Sudan’s neighbouring countries, noting their unique understanding of the complexities of the crisis and their strong desire to end it.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shakhbout bin Nahyan called for an immediate ceasefire and a negotiated solution between the belligerents. He also emphasized the importance of supporting the political process and achieving national consensus towards forming a transitional government.
The meeting, which took place 24 hours before a UN Security Council meeting on Sudan, was chaired by Mahmoud Ali Youssef, Djibouti Foreign Minister and PSC Chairman. AU Commissioner for Political Affairs Bankole Adeoye also participated in the meeting.
The AU has been criticized for its perceived lack of a clear and articulated position on ending the Sudanese conflict. However, together with the United Nations, the AU developed a roadmap to end the conflict and established the Expanded Mechanism, which brings together Peace and Security Council (PSC) member states, Sudan’s neighbours, and international partners.
However, the Expanded Mechanism has not officially met since May 31. Additionally, due to various reasons, Sudanese stakeholders have expressed dissatisfaction with the appointment of an AU diplomat close to the AU Commission chairman but at odds with them to oversee the Sudanese file.
For its part, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) created a roadmap and formed a quartet group headed by the Kenyan president, a move that was opposed by Sudan’s military leadership.
During a visit to Nairobi last Monday, the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, agreed with Kenyan President William Ruto to hold a summit for IGAD leaders on Sudan.
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