The African Union has refuted earlier reports that the bloc is to withdraw from the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism*, established to support Sudan through the next phase of the political process.
A statement by the AU Liaison office in Khartoum today, attributes the earlier reports in news outlets including the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), to “inaccurate interpretations of the speech of the Special Representative of the African Union”, Mohamed Belaiche.
The statement confirms that the AU has not withdrawn from the Trilateral Mechanism in which it participated actively in its establishment and its operations in a serious way.”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 AU underlines: “The head of the mission confirmed that he did not attend some activities due to the lack of transparency and respect of all parties, as well as a strict commitment to non-exclusion in political process – which are required for/should ensure its success.”
This is In line with the principles and values of the Continental Organisation, the statement concludes.
SUNA reported that “the AU has decided to suspend its participation in the facilitated meetings of the dialogue, attributing this step to turning of the dialogue into exclusionary tracks far from transparency and honesty”, following joint press statements by the AU Special Representative, Mohamed Belaiche, and the Forces for Freedom and Change (National Accord) group on Tuesday evening.
The head of the ruling junta in Sudan, President of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, earlier this month called on all parties in Sudan to engage in the efforts of the AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism and international partners. Gen El Burhan affirmed his commitment to work with all components of the Sudanese people in order to ensure the realisation of their dreams and aspirations in building a state of democracy and dignity and the state of freedom, peace, and justice
However, opposition voices continue to boycott and condemn the dialogue, asserting that it legitimises the ruling junta that seized power in a coup in October 2021.
Last week, the United Sudanese Revolutionary Forces Abroad (USRFA), a revolutionary coordination body of more than 31 Sudanese bodies and entities across the world, expressed their disappointment and rejection of the Trilateral AU-IGAD-UNITAMS negotiations with the coup government. In their statement on June 11, the USRFA centre were steadfast in their opposition of any talks that sought to legitimise the coup government and exonerate “those who committed unspeakable atrocities in Sudan”.
* The Trilateral Mechanism consists of the African Union (AU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS),