Sudan political blocs in Cairo call on army leader to form ‘caretaker government’

The FFC-Central Council leaders continue their meetings in the Egyptian capital, July 25 (social media)

Four Sudanese political alliances have called on Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, commander of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), to form an interim government as soon as possible. The mainstream FFC coalition of 45 political and civilian groups proposes to form a ‘nationwide front to stop the war’ between the SAF and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Not only the mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC-Central Council) are deliberating their stances in Cairo, four other blocs are discussing ways to stop the war in the Egyptian capital.

At a press conference in Cairo on Tuesday, the FFC-Democratic Block, the National Movement Forces, the National Accord Forces, and the National Forces Alliance stated that they have developed an initiative to end the war.

The initiative is based on two axes: a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian issues, and the second one is related to “political issues, dialogue and the role of the international community”.

El Tijani Sese, chairperson of the National Movement Forces, explained that “the initiative aims to develop a national entry to lead the political forces to a transparent national dialogue leading to a full civil and democratic transformation that establishes a state of equal citizenship”.

The Sudanese crisis must be dealt by “a comprehensive dialogue that discusses the problems of citizenship, pluralism and diversity management in the country”. The dialogue should be strictly Sudanese-Sudanese.

The initiative supports both the Jeddah negotiation platform under auspices of the USA and Saudi Arabia to reach a permanent ceasefire, and the outcomes of the Cairo summit of Sudan’s neighbouring countries.

The blocs also stressed the need “to form a regional and international mechanism that preserves Sudan’s sovereignty and works on the cessation of negative external interference”.

They called on El Burhan to form “a caretaker government” as soon as possible to rule the country during the war and prepare for the nation-wide dialogue.

The blocs further announced the formation of a committee “to liaise with the other political and societal forces without exception”.

The four blocs, consisting of rebel groups, politicians affiliated with the regime of Omar Al Bashir, Islamists, and other political groups, refused to sign the Framework Agreement developed by the FFC-CC, in December last year.

Civilian front

The 45 leaders of the FFC-CC coalition who also travelled to Cairo, continued their meetings on Tuesday.

Several leaders presented papers on political, organisational, and media issues in order to find “effective mechanisms for a ceasefire” and proposed to develop a broad civilian front to stop the war.

The FFC-CC members support the Jeddah platform, the Cairo summit of Sudan’s neighbouring countries in Cairo, as well as the initiatives of the African Union and in particular the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD)*.

The political secretary of the United Unionist Party, Mohamed El Sadig, said in a press conference on Tuesday that the meetings that day discussed “effective media lines” that would also counter “the pro-war voices emerging in the media and on social media”.

He said that “there is 90 per cent in commonality between the FFC-CC and the other political and civilian blocs, which is sufficient to build the widest civilian front possible to stop the war”.

Jaafar Hasan, spokesperson for the FFC-CC, added that the meetings also discussed “an economic vision for the post-war period, including reconstruction, compensation, reparations and humanitarian aid”.

* Earlier this month, Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said it does not accept IGAD’s proposal to deploy soldiers of the East Africa Standby Force (EASF) as a buffer between the warring SAF and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) as the many ceasefires agreed on before did not hold. 

IGAD proposed end April to mediate between the warring partners and formed a Sudan Quartet with Kenya, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia, to be chaired by Kenyan President William Ruto. The SAF however opposes the Kenyan chairmanship of the Quartet, as Sudan’s Sovereignty Council stated last month: “Kenya is not neutral as it is home to RSF rebel leaders.”

On Monday, senior Sudanese Army Commander Lt Gen Yasir El Atta, repeated the SAF’s rejection of EASF peacekeeping forces. In a video released that day, he threatened that ‘none of these mercenaries would return home alive’. Kenya’s FA Minister Abraham Korir Sing’oei reacted by saying that El Atta’s statement “does not deserve comments from us,” as “the accusations are baseless”.