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El Burhan urges intl community to support political consensus in Sudan

September 28 - 2022 KHARTOUM
British Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather (Photo: Gov.UK)
British Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather (Photo: Gov.UK)

Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and leader of the October 2021 coup d’état, Abdelfattah El Burhan called on the international community and in particular Britain to urge the various political groups and parties in the country to achieve a political settlement and cooperate with all parties alike.

During his meeting with the British Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather, in the presence of the British Ambassador to Sudan, Giles Lever, El Burhan stressed the need to achieve national consensus, expand the base of political participation, and return to the transitional path in light of the declared position of the military component to withdraw from the political process.

He expressed his aspiration to speed up the achievement of consensus, expressing his confidence in the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism as a mediating platform.

The UK Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, Sarah Montgomery, and the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Bob Fairweather, arrived in Khartoum on Sunday for a joint visit, during which they met with a number of political actors and civil and military leaders.

Fairweather also joined Ambassador Lever to meet with member of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Malik Agar yesterday. The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports that the meeting discussed the political developments in the country, while Agar briefed the British envoy on the ongoing discussions and consultations to reach agreement on management of what is left of the transitional period, and the efforts made to unify initiatives to for a dialogue that leads to a national consensus on the formation of a civilian government.

The member of the TSC noted that efforts during the period from next October to January 2023 will focus mainly on the issue of the voluntary return of displaced persons and refugees.

Agar called on the British envoy to urge diplomats, civil society organisations and the United Nations to contribute to the issue of voluntary return, meanwhile, the British envoy affirmed his support for the initiatives that unite the Sudanese people and support national consensus among the political components.

Apology

El Burhan’s meeting with the British envoys follows just weeks after making demands that the United Kingdom provide an official apology for crimes committed during the British colonial era. In a speech celebrating the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Karari, also known as the Battle of Omdurman, which was fought on September 2, 1898 between British-Egyptian and Sudanese Mahdist forces, El Burhan described the British actions as a crime against humanity that should be accounted for.

“They [the British forces] committed murder and atrocities for four days after the battle,” said El Burhan, before going on to describe British actions as “tantamount to genocide and ethnic cleansing”.

In 2008, the now-ousted President Omar Al Bashir, also called for Britain and other Western countries to apologise for the ‘massacres’ that took place in Sudan and other countries, and to return what had been stolen.

El Burhan travelled to London on September 18 to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Forces for Freedom and Change

El Wasig El Bereir, a leader in the Forces for Freedom and Change and Secretary-General of the National Umma Party, has welcomed the repeated visits of international envoys and considered them an attempt to contribute to addressing the crisis in the country.

In an interview with Sudan Today on Radio Dabanga, El Bereir said that the situation in Sudan after the October 2021 coup threatens regional and international security, threatens Sudan’s cohesion and threatens its collapse, referring to the unprecedented security and economic deterioration and the disintegration of the social fabric. “All of this calls for the support of international friends,” he said.

“We consider the diplomats’ visits a positive and commendable intervention to help the Sudanese people return to the path of civil democratic transformation.”

He mocked statements of others who accuse international envoys of hijacking the Sudanese decision-making, wondering how this is possible when “there is no state, authority or legitimacy in Sudan”.

Regarding El Burhan’s demand to the African Union to lift the suspension of membership on Sudan’s activities, he said that this depends on the army’s exit from the political process and the restoration of civil and democratic transformation.

He downplayed the importance of El Burhan’s visit to New York in ending the international isolation of the putschists.

During his visit to New York last week, where he addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, El Burhan called for turning his words into actions and implementing his promises to withdraw from the political scene, leading to Sudan’s return to the right track, international cooperation and the restoration of the debt relief programme and the international Samarat family support programme.


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