21 May 2019

African summit gives Sudan military three months for reforms

KONFRONTASI-African leaders meeting in Cairo on Tuesday agreed to give Sudan’s ruling military council three months to implement democratic reforms, Egypt said on Tuesday, amid pressure for a quick handover of power to civilians.

The decision extends a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to civilians or to be suspended from the grouping. The TMC took over after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11.

Any suspension of Sudan’s AU membership could affect the TMC’s efforts to win international recognition as the country’s legitimate rulers during an interim period of up to two years, and thus delay any aid to the country that has been trying to cope with a dire economic crisis.

The TMC has been under pressure from demonstrators to hand power rapidly to civilians since the military ousted Bashir following months of protests against his 30 years in office.

Speaking at the end of a summit attended by several African heads of state, Sisi said that the meeting agreed on the need to deal with the situation in Sudan by working to “quickly restore the constitutional system through a political democratic process led and managed by the Sudanese themselves”.

Sisi, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, said that the African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat had briefed the meeting on his recent talks in Khartoum.

“We agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement these measures,” Sisi told the meeting.

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