pril 11, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged the head of the military-led Sovereign Council to expedite efforts to end the current political crisis and pave the way for the formation of a civilian government.
Blinken discussed with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan the delay in the restoration of a civilian authority agreed upon with the pro-democracy coalition of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and its allies on December 5, 2022.
“I spoke with Sovereign Council Chair General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan today to highlight U.S. support for Sudanese democratic aspirations and urge the swift formation of a civilian-led transitional government,” said Blinken in a tweet posted on Tuesday.
In line with the Political Framework Agreement, the parties had to sign a political declaration on April 1, a transitional constitution on April 6, and form a government on April 11, but nothing happened due to differences between the regular army and paramilitary forces.
The Rapid Support Forces accepted their reintegration into the Sudanese army but called for purging Islamist elements from the army, ensuring that officers had the necessary training before integration, and having the joint command chaired by the civilian head of state, not the army commander in chief. However, the army brushed aside these demands, saying the whole process should terminate within two years.
The Sovereign Council in Khartoum issued a statement saying that al Burhan briefed Blinken about the progress of the political process and the challenges encountered by the country.
“Blinken reassured that the United States stands in support of Sudan’s political process and vowed to assist in overcoming the hurdles that hinder the country’s progress.” added the statement.
Blinken’s call follows recent discussions by Molly Phee U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs with al-Burhan, Khalid Omer Youssif Spokesman of the civilian forces, and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo to press them to speed up the formation of the civilian government.
U.S. officials and their allied European officials are keen to keep soft pressure on the Sudanese parties to strike a deal because of the volatility of the political situation and its possible negative impact on the region.
Source: Sudan Tribune