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AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism suspends dialogue after Sudan junta withdraws

July 7 - 2022 KHARTOUM
A meeting of the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism with Sudanese stakeholders in Khartoum (File photo: UN)
A meeting of the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism with Sudanese stakeholders in Khartoum (File photo: UN)

The United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), African Union (AU), and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Trilateral Mechanism has announced the suspension of the dialogue that began on June 8 this year, after the withdrawal of the Sudanese military from the negotiations.

The announcement by the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism, which was launched on Thursday, May 12 with the stated aim to support Sudan through the next phase of the political process, to facilitate a Sudanese-led political process with the aim of restoring a civilian-led transition to democracy, follows a televised speech by the leader of the ruling military junta, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan on Monday, in which he announced the military’s withdrawal from the current governing bodies, and gave the civilian opposition groups in the country the opportunity to form a government of technocrats. El Burhan’s speech was largely met with scepticism and rejection in Sudanese political circles.

Yesterday, in letters addressed to the parties that participated in the opening of the dialogue, the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism lamented that there is no point in continuing the talks in their current form without the participation of the army.

The National Accord Forces, a split-off faction from the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) led by a number of former rebel leaders, announced a meeting between them and the Trilateral Mechanism on Thursday, while sources reported a meeting between the mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC-Central Council, an alliance of opposition parties) with the Mechanism on the same day.

The Mechanism made it clear in the letters that there can be no military-civilian dialogue without the participation of the army. It said that the military committee informed them that it had decided not to continue engaging with the civilian parties for the time being, and stipulated the civil-civil agreement before any negotiations with the military component.

The Trilateral Mechanism will continue to engage with all groups that participated in the June 8 meeting and all other stakeholders in order to evaluate the developments in the context of facilitating a political solution to the current crisis, the letters say.

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