Both factions of the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains refuse to participate in the conference on governance in eastern Sudan starting in Khartoum today.
The mainstream Beja Nazirs Council under the leadership of Sayed Tirik considers the conference organised by the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism in cooperation with the signatories to the Framework Agreement “pouring oil on the fire”.
In a press statement on Saturday, Taha Faki, Secretary General of the Council, said that the conference in Khartoum “limits the voice of the eastern Sudanese by deciding on them without including them in the preparations”.
He lauded the inter-Sudanese dialogue conference organised by the Egyptian government in Cairo last week, praising “the role of Egypt in providing the appropriate environment for the people of eastern Sudan to a dialogue without interference from others”.
During the Cairo conference, “the parties agreed on recommendations that to a large extent satisfy the aspirations and desires of the people of the East”.
Faki further said that a briefing on the outputs of the Cairo conference and the Beja Nazirs Council’s position will be held in the Friendship Hall on Tuesday.
The Beja Nazirs categorically reject the Eastern Sudan Track protocol, included in the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) signed by the Sudanese government and a number of rebel movements in the south Sudanese capital on October 3, 2020. At the time, the Beja Nazirs Council was not included in the negotiations on the eastern Sudanese region.
The Khartoum conference on governance in eastern Sudan is the third dialogue in which the signatories of the Framework Agreement and other stakeholders discuss critical issues in order to reach a consensus on the subjects. The outcomes of the dialogues are supposed to lead to a final agreement with the military junta on the upcoming transitional period and the formation of a new civilian government of technocrats.
Members of the Forces for Freedom and Change-Democratic Block (FFC-CC) alliance oppose the Framework Agreement, supported by the international community, and welcomed the initiative of Egypt in early January to hold an alternative conference on the Sudanese crisis in Cairo.
The Beja Nazirs Council-Tirik wing repeated its threats to announce self-determination for eastern Sudan if the government does not respond to their demands for a separate platform and development in the marginalised eastern region.
The Beja Nazirs Council split-off faction chaired by Ibrahim Adarob as well demands the cancellation of the Eastern Sudan Protocol of the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement, but refused to take part in both Cairo and Khartoum conferences.
Sayed Abu Amna, Political Secretary of the Adarob wing said in a press statement on Friday that the faction insists on “a special negotiating platform”.
He stated that they presented their vision to the Trilateral Mechanism and mainstream FFC-Central Council organising the conferences in Khartoum. “If they include these points in the Framework Agreement, we will support it.”