The African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) (AU-IGAD-UN) Trilateral Mechanism* is to organise dialogue conferences on the evaluation of the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) and the issue of governance in eastern Sudan.
Following a meeting with the Trilateral Mechanism in Khartoum on Thursday, leading member of the mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC-Central Council) Khaled Omar Yousef said that their general plan for the upcoming two conferences on reviewing the JPA and the issue of eastern Sudan was approved, provided that the two events are organised by the AU-IGAD-UN mechanism.
The first conference, on the removal of empowerment**, which began on January 9, concluded in the Sudan capital last week. The political process in preparation for the signing of a final agreement with the military junta for the transition to civilian-led government, will soon begin with its second conference on (transitional) justice, leading member of the mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC-Central Council) and spokesperson for the current political process, Yousef reported in a previous press conference in Khartoum.
More than 40 political parties and civil society groups signed a Framework Agreement with the military junta on December 5 last year. It was agreed that negotiations between the signatories on five contentious issues would be launched as soon as possible in five dialogue conferences in Khartoum.
The FFC-CC alliance has organised the first three conferences, on empowerment removal, transitional justice, and military and security reform, that have to be agreed on by the internally differing signatories before presenting their common views to the junta in a draft Final Agreement.
Yasir Arman, founder of the SPLM-N-Democratic Revolutionary Movement which is a member of the FFC-CC alliance told Radio Dabanga: “We are now working on the programme for the conference on justice and transitional justice, together with relatives of victims in all parts of Sudan and the Trilateral Mechanism.”
He said that they are also discussing the conference on eastern Sudan, but that this is not easy. “It is true that the east has a just cause, but we should not confuse the cause of the east with the issues of the affiliates [of the regime of Omar Al Bashir], who are using the issue of the east to abort the democratic transition,” Arman asserted.
* The AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism was established last year to support Sudan through the next phase of the political process, to facilitate a Sudanese-led process with the aim of restoring a civilian-led transition to democracy.
** Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions. In the end of 2019, the government of Abdallah Hamdok established the Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC) with the aim to purge the country of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. The work of the ERC was suspended, and a number of its members detained following the October 2021 military coup d’état. The full name of the ERC is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption, and Recovering Public Funds.