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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African Union Peace and Security Council
condemns killing of civilians in Sudan

by Shiferaw Tadesse ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Thursday condemned the death of civilians in Sudan and urged immediate investigation into the recent deadly events by relevant national and continental frameworks.

"The African Union deplores the loss of innocent lives which took place in recent days in Sudan and expresses its condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured persons," a statement issued by the AU’s Peace and Security Council on Thursday read.

The 55-member pan African bloc, which "strongly condemned the violence that led to the loss of lives and injuries among civilians," further urged for an independent investigation concerning the deadly incidents.

The statement called for making concrete proposals on the modalities for an investigation into the deadly events which took place from 3 June 2019 in Sudan.

The AU’s Peace and Security Council also "reaffirmed the imperative for the military and security forces to ensure the full protection of civilians and respect for human rights and freedoms in Sudan."

It also "strongly condemns and totally rejects any unilateral actions by whomsoever in the process of resolving the current crisis."

The council also indicated its demand that the Transitional Military Council and all other concerned Sudanese stakeholders "abide by previously reached agreements on the setting up of a civilian-led Transitional Authority."

It also urged "all concerned in Sudan exert maximum restraint and refrain from any move that could ignite the already highly volatile situation in Sudan and to give primacy to the supreme interest of the people of Sudan."
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UPDATES:

South Sudan says Khartoum’s suspension from
African Union not to affect peace process

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan has said the suspension of neighboring Sudan from the African Union (AU) will not derail the September 2018 peace where Khartoum is the guarantor.

South Sudan information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei told reporters late Friday that Sudan’s suspension from the AU will have minimal impact on the implementation of the pact since the east African regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), is still spearheading peace efforts in the South Sudan.

"Now that the AU has suspended Sudan, we are looking at IGAD as a guarantor to support the peace. So, it (suspension) will not affect the implementation process, "Makuei told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting.

Sudan was suspended from the Pan-African body following Thursday’s violence in the capital Khartoum that killed dozens of protestors.

Sudan and Uganda are guarantors to South Sudan’s peace deal that seeks to end nearly six years of violent conflict.

James Okuk, senior research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Policy Studies, a Juba-based think tank, said Khartoum’s suspension from the AU will not bring negative effects on peace efforts in the world’s youngest nation if the parties to the deal can commit to its implementation and avoid going back to war.

Okuk said that the success of South Sudan’s peace process depends on stability in its northern neighbor because more violence in Sudan would interrupt the flow of the country’s main revenue generator, oil, which is exported through Sudan.

"The fact that Sudan is the only IGAD country suspended by the AU, it will not affect South Sudan’s peace process because other members are still there to oversee the process," Okuk said. "If they (parties to the agreement) manage to the right thing, the suspension will have no effect on the peace implementation."

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital Juba in July 2016.

Under the 2018 peace deal, opposition leader Riek Machar with four others will once again be reinstated as Kiir’s deputy.

Signatories to the fragile peace agreement on May 3 agreed to extend the formation of the transitional government by six months following delays in the implementation of the pact over unresolved issues.
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Sudan releases deputy chairman of SPLM/ northern sector

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudanese security authorities on Monday released the deputy chairman of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector and two other members of the movement, official Sudan TV reported.

"The security authorities decided to release the deputy chairman of the SPLM/northern sector, Yasir Arman, the movement’s secretary general, Khamis Jalab and the movement’s spokesman, Mubarak Ardol," the report said.

The security authorities arrested Arman on June 4, while Jalab and Ardol were arrested on June 6.
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African Union urges foreign actors to refrain from interference in Sudan

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Saturday urged foreign actors to refrain from interference in Sudan as the country faces critical juncture with looming political uncertainties.

The urgent call was made by Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat in a statement issued on Saturday, as he emphasized the need to find Sudanese-led solutions to the ongoing political crisis in the country.

"The AU Commission Chairperson stressed the need for all foreign actors to refrain from interference, and support the African Union efforts to support a Sudanese-led and owned process that respects the will and aspirations of the people of Sudan, the region and the African continent," an AU statement issued on Saturday read.

The Chairperson of the 55-member pan African bloc also "encouraged Sudanese parties to undertake all the necessary political and security measures required to pave the way for a rapid resumption of negotiations to achieve a consensual agreement for transition towards a civilian-led rule."

The AU commended current cooperation between the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in finding lasting solutions to Sudan’s crisis.

On Thursday, the AU had expressed its concern over the lack of progress among Sudanese stakeholders toward the establishment of a civilian-led transitional government, which led to the suspension of the country’s participation in its "all activities."
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Sudan opposition says accepts Ethiopia’s mediation

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudan’s major opposition Freedom and Change Alliance announce on Friday its acceptance of Ethiopia’s mediation in its fight with Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC).

However, the opposition said in a statement that it would not return to negotiations until the TMC admits its mistake of dispersing the sit-in in front of the army’s headquarters, holds those behind it accountable and ends the armed situation in the capital Khartoum.

The opposition on Friday held two meetings with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who arrived in Khartoum earlier in the day to mediate between the alliance and the TMC.

The prime minister told reporters after the meetings that the Sudanese parties are aware of the seriousness of the current situation.

He called on the Sudanese factions to move quickly toward a transitional democratic period and make decisions independent of foreign intervention.

He also pledged that the African Union mission in Khartoum would keep supporting the Sudanese parties until they reach a deal.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

African Union expressing concern over lack of progress
in forming civilian-led transitional government in Sudan

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Thursday expressed concern over the lack of progress among Sudanese stakeholders toward the establishment of a civilian-led transitional government.

The AU’s Peace and Security Council, in a statement issued Thursday, reaffirmed the AU’s "solidarity with the Sudan in their aspirations to constitutional order that will enable them to make progress in its efforts toward the democratic transformation of the country," an AU statement said.

The AU "strongly condemns and totally rejects any unilateral actions by whomsoever in the process of resolving the current crisis," the statement said, adding that the 55-member pan-African bloc "rejected the unilateral actions taken by the Transitional Military Council, notably the suspension of dialogue with other Sudanese stakeholders."

It urged the Transitional Military Council and all other concerned Sudanese stakeholders "abide by previously reached agreements on the setting up of a civilian-led Transitional Authority."

The AU also demanded that "all concerned in Sudan exert maximum restraint and refrain from any move that could ignite the already highly volatile situation in Sudan and to give primacy to the supreme interest of the people of Sudan."

The council called for "the immediate resumption of negotiations, without preconditions, between all Sudanese stakeholders towards the establishment of a civilian-led Transitional Authority, in full compliance with the decisions of this Council."

The AU also urged external actors to refrain from any form of interference in the process of resolving the current crisis in Sudan, emphasizing "the primacy of African-led initiatives in the search for a lasting solution to the crisis in Sudan."

"The fact that the Sudanese stakeholders are the sole authors of their destiny at this critical juncture in the history of their Country," the statement said.
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African Union to suspend Sudan "in all activities" until effective
establishment of civilian-led transitional government

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) on Thursday announced its decision to suspend the participation of the Republic of Sudan in all AU activities until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority.

"The Council decides... 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, as the only way to allow the Sudan to exit from its current crisis," an African Union (AU) statement said.

"Should the Transition Military Council fail to hand over power to a civilian-led Transitional Authority, the Council shall, without any further delay, automatically impose punitive measures on individuals and entities obstructing the establishment of the civilian-led Transitional Authority," the statement said.

The Sudanese government said on Thursday that 46 people were killed during the dispersing of a sit-in in front of the army’s headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.

The opposition, however, put the death toll at more than 100.

Thousands of protesters have been staging a sit-in near the army headquarters since April 6.
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IGAD calls on Sudanese stakeholders to exercise restraint

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, on Wednesday called on all Sudanese stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint.

In a press statement, IGAD said it is concerned about the escalation of conflict and called on Sudanese stakeholders to negotiate in the spirit of compromise.

"IGAD would like to underscore the need to preserve the peace and stability of the Sudan, and calls on all Sudanese stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and ease the increasing tension."

"IGAD calls on Sudanese stakeholders to return to the negotiation table and work in good faith and in the spirit of compromise," further said the statement.

The statement from IGAD also reaffirmed the bloc’s commitment to continue engagement on the situation in Sudan, in coordination with the AU to help Sudan overcome current challenges.

Sudan is a key member of the eight-member states regional body IGAD, with the regional bloc being a key actor in recent years in efforts to end conflicts in various parts of Sudan.

In recent days, Khartoum has witnessed security incidents near the army’s general headquarters.

Protestors are demanding that the country’s Transition Military Council (TMC) hand over power to civilians.

The TMC is tasked with running the country’s affairs following the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir.

 

             

 

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