African Union withdraws from 'dishonest' Sudan talks
The African Union (AU) has pulled out of brokering talks in Sudan after a boycott by civilian political groups had made them "dishonest".
Last March, the United Nations Transition Support Mission in Sudan (UNTAMS), the African Union, and IGAD announced the formation of a tripartite mechanism to mediate between the Sudanese parties.
The AU ambassador to Sudan, Mohammed Belaiche, announced the bloc’s withdrawal from the tripartite mechanism in protest against what he described as the lack of transparency between the Sudanese parties.
"The AU cannot continue these dishonest, opaque discussions which sideline participants or treat them in an unjust way," Ambassador Belaiche told reporters late Tuesday.
On 8 June, the tripartite mechanism called the Sudanese forces for direct dialogue sessions but the talks were suspended indefinitely after the Central Committee of the Forces for Freedom and Change refused to participate in the direct dialogue.
According to Belaiche, the AU cannot object to the way the Sudanese choose to arrange their internal affairs and resolve their crises.
“Based on the directives of the AU’s presidency, he decided not to participate in prevarication and non-transparent meetings held in an exclusionary atmosphere,” he said.
The AU suspended Sudan after the military's 27 October 2021 overthrow of a joint civilian-military transitional government installed in the aftermath of the army's 2019 ouster of Omar al-Bashir.
Many foreign donors cut off aid, which accounts for 40 percent of state revenues, prompting military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to agree to talks launched by the United Nations, the AU, and the East African bloc IGAD earlier this month.
But the talks have been undermined by a boycott by all significant civilian players, including both Sudan's established political parties and groups born out of the mass protests that led to Bashir's ouster.
Since US envoys failed to persuade the civilians to give the talks a chance, the process has been put on hold indefinitely.