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African Union suspends Sudan’s membership, threatens to sanction military council

African Union's PSC meets in Addis Ababa to discuss situation in Sudan on 6 June 2019 (PSC Photo)
June 6, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union has suspended Sudan’s membership in the regional organization and threatened to impose sanctions on the members of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) if they fail to hand over power to a civilian-led authority.

Last April the PSC gave a two-month delay for the TMC to allow it to organize the modalities for a transfer of power to a transitional civilian. However, the Sudanese junta said they want to control the Sovereign Council in order to oversee the transition.

Further, after the suspension of talks with the opposition, the TMC members launched verbal attacks on the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), followed by a raid on the sit-in area where the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militiamen killed over 100 civilians on 3 June followed by systematic attacks on civilians in the streets of the capital.

Confronted by this situation, the PSC decided in a meeting held on Thursday to " to suspend, with immediate effect, the participation of the Republic of Sudan in all AU activities until the effective establishment of a civilian-led Transitional Authority".

The 15-member regional body decided that "should the Transition Military Council fail to hand-over power to a civilian-led Transitional Authority, Council shall, without any further delay, automatically impose punitive measures on individuals and entities obstructing the establishment of the civilian-led Transitional Authority".

The decision opens the door for more regional and international pressures on the military junta in Khartoum as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have already marked their distance and called for a negotiated settlement to ensure power transition to civilians in Sudan.

The decision tasked the IGAD in coordination with the African Union leadership to broker talks between the ruling TMC and the opposition FFC to end achieve the power transfer to a civilian-led transitional authority.

For the IGAD (...) "to scale up its engagement in the resolution of the Sudanese crisis; Further emphasizes the need for IGAD to mobilize and convene all the Sudanese stakeholders to dialogue, with a view to speedily establish a civilian-led Transitional Authority in Sudan".

The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected in Khartoum on Friday for talks with the TMC leader and the FFC groups in a bid to implement the PSC recommendation and mediate a solution between the Sudanese parties.

Reuters reported that the Abiy will be in Khartoum for only when one day, as the FFC confirmed to SkyNews Arabia they received an invitation to meet him.

The military council did not issue a statement on the PSC decision or Abiy ’s visit to Khartoum.