AU tells Sudan military to relinquish power for civilian rule

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Sudan's military leaders

In its communiqué of the 840th meeting of the Peace and Security Council [PSC] on the situation in Sudan released Monday 15 April 2019, African Union has asked military leaders in Sudan to give way for civilian rule.

The Peace and Security Council, recognises the legitimate aspirations of the Sudanese people to the opening of the political space in order to be able to democratically design and choose institutions that are representative and respectful of freedoms and human rights.

It expressed deep concern over the situation in Sudan following the military takeover of power on 11 April 2019 and its impact on the country, the region and the Continent, in a context where Sudan already faces challenges.

It reiterated the AU’s solidarity with the people of Sudan and reaffirming its commitment and readiness to continue to support Sudan during this period, in line with the relevant AU instruments and principles.

AU said the military take-over is not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people.

It deplored the announcement of the then First Vice President and Minister of Defence, Lt. General Awad Ibn Auf, on the suspension of the Constitution, the dissolution of the National Assembly, the formation of a military-led transitional government, which would rule for two years, and the arrest of President Omar Al Bashir, as well as the imposition of a state of emergency for three months, as constituting a coup d’État, which Council strongly condemns.

It affirms that the overthrow of the democratically elected President does not conform to the relevant provisions of the July 2005 Sudanese Constitution and, therefore, falls under the definition of an unconstitutional change of Government.

It reiterated AU’s condemnation and total rejection of any unconstitutional change of government or any takeover of power by military and underscored the urgent need for a rapid resolution of the current crisis based on respect for constitutional order and reflecting the aspirations of the people of Sudan, within the framework of the relevant AU instruments.

In this regard, Council: strongly condemns and totally rejects the seizure of power by the Sudanese military and its plan to lead the transition for two (2) years and reaffirms the imperative of a civilian-led and consensual transition in Sudan, it being understood that a military-led transition would be completely contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan, as well as to the relevant AU instruments.

It demands that the Sudanese military step aside and hand over power to a transitional civilian-led political authority, in accordance with the will of the people and constitutional order, within a maximum period of fifteen (15) days from the date of the adoption of the present communiqué, failing which, Council will automatically apply Article 7(g) of its Protocol, in particular the suspension of the participation of the Sudan in all AU’s activities until the restoration of constitutional order.

It underlines that the transitional civilian authority to be installed,  should ensure an inclusive and consultative process involving all Sudanese political actors and stakeholders, to agree on the modalities, duration, leadership and content of a civilian-led and consensual transition, which will lead to the holding, as quickly as possible, of free, fair and transparent elections; and

It urges the Sudanese military to refrain from any act or statement that would further complicate the situation in the country and negatively affect regional security and stability.

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