African Union Suspends Participation in UN-led Sudan Peace Talks

The African Union (AU) has reportedly withdrawn its participation in the facilitated meetings with United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). 

News of the withdrawal, published on Sudan News Agency (SUNA), indicated that the AU representative in Khartoum and spokesman of the AU-UNITAMS-IGAD Trilateral Mechanism, Ambassador Mohamed Belaiche, has issued joint press statements with the Forces for Freedom and Change (National Accord) group on Tuesday evening. 

The statement published on SUNA cited that AU “cannot participate in a path that is not followed by transparency, honesty, and exclusion”, adding that the organization will not participate in a process in which all actors are not respected and treated with full respect and on equal footing.

However, the withdrawal was later refuted by AU in a copy of a separate statement published on local media Dabanga – Sudan. 

The earlier claims in news outlets, including that of SUNA, were attributed to “inaccurate interpretations of the speech of the Special Representative of the African Union,” Mohamed Belaiche.

“The head of the mission confirmed that he did not attend some activities due to the lack of transparency and respect of all parties, as well as a strict commitment to non-exclusion in the political process – which are required for/should ensure its success,” read a portion of the statement released by the AU Liaison Office in Khartoum. 

The statement continues by saying that this is consistent with the Continental Organization’s ideals and values.

Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling junta and president of the Sovereignty Council, urged all parties earlier this month to support the work of the AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism and other international allies. 

In order to assure the fulfillment of the Sudanese people’s ambitions to establish a state of democracy and dignity as well as a state of freedom, peace, and justice, Gen. El Burhan reaffirmed his commitment to working with all facets of the Sudanese people.

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