Wide response to AU Ambassador Belaiche’s comments on Sudan dialogue

The statements of the representative of the African Union in Sudan, Mohamed Belaiche, regarding the suspension of his participation in ‘some activities’ of the tripartite mechanism, aroused wide reactions from the authorities and political forces.

AU Ambassador Mohamed Belaiche (AU)

The statements of the representative of the African Union in Sudan, Mohamed Belaiche, regarding the suspension of his participation in 'some activities' of the tripartite mechanism aroused wide reactions from the authorities and political forces.

The reactions come in the wake of statements by the representative of the African Union, Abdallah Belaiche, asserting that the AU “cannot continue on a path that is not characterised by transparency, honesty, respect for all actors and their equal treatment”, after the meetings with the Forces for Freedom and Change-National Accord and African ambassadors in Khartoum on Tuesday evening.

Ambassador Belaiche said that he had decided, based on the directives of the leadership of the African Union, that there is no need to attend what he called “meetings of camouflage, evasion, and lack of transparency in an exclusionary atmosphere”.

Belaiche’s comments were reported in news outlets including the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), who interpreted the statement as a complete withdrawal of the AU from the Trilateral Mechanism of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), African Union (AU), and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

However a statement published by the AU Liaison office in Khartoum on Wednesday cited “inaccurate interpretations of the speech of the Special Representative of the African Union”. The statement confirms that “the AU has not withdrawn from the Trilateral Mechanism in which it participated actively in its establishment and its operations in a serious way”.


The Deputy President of the Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, has stressed the need for the African Union to continue its role within the mechanism.

He explained on his Facebook page that the African Union constitutes an important and indispensable part of the dialogue process, stressing the great role played by the tripartite mechanism in facilitating dialogue between the Sudanese parties.

Hemeti expressed his hope that the tripartite mechanism would expedite the resumption of the Sudanese dialogue leading to the completion of the transitional period leading to the elections, and that the parties to the mechanism would work in full coordination according to a clear and specific methodology.

Minni Minawi

Minni Arko Minawi, head of the Sudan Liberation Movement-MM and governor of the Darfur region, said that the withdrawal of the African Union from the tripartite mechanism is a clear reflection of the position on the ambiguous bilateral dialogue, which will impose its outcomes on the people.

In a post on Twitter, he warned against bringing Sudan into a tunnel from which it is difficult to get out.

Minawi said in press statements after a meeting of the national consensus forces with African ambassadors on Tuesday that secret negotiations are taking place more dangerous than before October 25.

Mainstream FFC

The Forces of Freedom and Change-Central Council described the statements of Belaiche as “not positive, inaccurate, and indicative of a lack of impartiality”.

El Wasig El Bereir, a leader in the FFC-CC, denied in an interview with the Sudan Today programme on Radio Dabanga that any dialogue is taking place in secret between the FFC and the military.

He added, “if Belaiche is talking about internal problems with UNITAMS, these must be resolved within the framework of the Trilateral Mechanism as partners.”

El Bereir called on African and international organisations to review their structures and representatives to become a mechanism that represents peoples instead of regimes.

He said that the FFC agreed to the US-Saudi mediation in order to end the coup first and create the atmosphere by building confidence, lifting emergency, stopping violence, and stopping regressive decisions before starting a comprehensive dialogue.

A tribute to the national consensus

Mubarak Ardol, Secretary-General of the Forces for Freedom and Change-National Accord, praised the position of the African Union and suspended its participation in the bilateral meetings between Freedom and Change and the Military Committee, describing it as a strong and solid position.

He said, in an interview with Sudan Today on Radio Dabanga, that the dialogue between the military and the FFC-CC at an American-Saudi initiative, created a parallel platform for the Trilateral Mechanism that hinders its efforts.

Ardol warned that bilateral meetings would threaten the future of dialogue. He affirmed the FFC-NA's adherence to returning to open and open dialogue through the Trilateral Mechanism, rejecting bilateral dialogue, and stressing their refusal to return to the situation before the October 25 military coup.

Darfur Bar Association

The Darfur Bar Association and its partners say that the statements of the representative of the African Union, Ambassador Mohamed Belaiche, are considered blatant interference in Sudanese affairs and aim to cause confusion in the political scene.

The association said in a statement yesterday that Belaiche’s statements about alleged grievances in the presence of a party supporting the coup undermine the competence and integrity of the performance of the African Union in dealing with the Sudanese issue, which requires it to review and evaluate the performance of its representatives.