Envoy says African Union to discuss Sudan report in two weeks

Monday May 6 2019

Sudanese protesters chant slogans during a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum on May 1, 2019. PHOTO | AFP

Sudanese protesters chant slogans during a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum on May 1, 2019. PHOTO | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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The African Union's envoy to protest-hit Sudan said Monday that a progress report on the country's political transition will be discussed by the bloc's peace and security council in a fortnight.

"One week has passed and two weeks remain for this report to be presented and studied and for adequate measures to be taken", Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt told reporters in Khartoum.

On May 1 the AU gave Sudan's military rulers another 60 days to hand over power to a civilian authority, after they missed a deadline of April 30.

The original deadline was set by the AU on April 15, some four days after president Omar al-Bashir was deposed and a military council seized control of the country.

Lebatt said the AU's peace and security council had given three weeks for the president of the bloc's commission to present an evaluation report on Sudan.

"The case of Sudan... will be gauged in light of the principles and texts of the African Union", Lebatt said.

Sudan's new military rulers and leaders of a protest movement -- which has been encamped outside the army headquarters in Khartoum since before Bashir was deposed -- have held several rounds of talks on the composition of a new ruling council.

Questioned by journalists about the likely success of these negotiations, Lebatt said he had "reasons to be optimistic".

But his "optimism did not deny that there are obstacles and difficulties", he added.

The discussions over a new ruling body to oversee the country's transition have hit a wall, as protest leaders and army chiefs each maintain their camps should hold a majority in any new council.

"There is no other way to bring about an agreement and to apply it" than for dialogue to continue, added Lebatt, flanked by representatives of the UN, the EU and the US charge d'affaires to Khartoum.

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