Museveni appeals to Sudan to unite, reform state institutions

By Taddeo Bwambale

Omar Al Bashir stepped down from power after three decades at the helm of Sudan following a string of protests

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President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to the leaders of Sudan to unite and reform state institutions so that they are more inclusive to all parties to the conflict.

His message was delivered by foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutesa at a meeting convened by Egypt’s President and African Union chair, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Cairo today.

The meeting was meant to find an answer to the flare-ups in Sudan that resulted in the ouster of the country’s president, Omar Al Bashir early this month.

Bashir stepped down from power after three decades at the helm of Sudan following a string of protests over a myriad of grievances driven by economic challenges.

A military council of 10 members from the armed forces replaced the ousted government, headed by the Former Vice President and Minister of Defence, Gen. Awead Ebn Eouf.

However, demonstrators immediately rejected the choice of Gen. Awaed because of his close relationship with President Bashir. He resigned 30 hours after taking the oath of office.

Lt. Gen. Abdul Fattah Burhan Abdul Rahman was sworn in on April 12 as the new head of the military council, pledging civilian rule within 2 years and dialogue with the demonstrators.

The protestors, however, remain opposed to the decision to set up a military council and have vowed to continue with the protests until a civilian government is established.

gandas foreign minister am uteesa foreground during the meeting ourtesy hotoUganda's foreign minister Sam Kuteesa (foreground) during the meeting. Courtesy Photo


Regional leaders from Djibouti, Chad, South Africa, Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Congo Brazzaville, South Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria and the chairman of the African Union Commission, Faki Mahamat, attended the meeting convened by Sisi to suggest possible solutions to the crisis.

According to an advisory, the meeting underscored the urgent need for the Sudanese Authorities and political actors to work together in good faith and to effectively address the current situation.

They called for prompt restoration of the constitutional order through a Sudanese-led and Sudanese-owned democratic political dialogue that comprises all Sudanese stakeholders.

They called for an inclusive democratic political system, rule of law, protection and promotion of human rights and a sustainable economic supported by the AU and the international community.

Participating States encouraged the chairperson of the AU chairperson to pursue dialogue with the Sudanese authorities and stakeholders and called upon Sudanese authorities to maintain constructive engagement with the AU and its commission, according to a press statement.

The leaders also stressed the need to support Sudan in its efforts to achieve stability, preserve its unity and secure its borders, and combat and prevent any illegal transboundary activities, including, transfer of illicit arms, organised crime and human trafficking.

The meeting directed the ministers of foreign affairs to convene a follow-up meeting within a month to review progress made and to report to the heads of state and government.

Sisi said there was a need to formulate an African vision to address crises on the continent based on the principle of “African solutions for African crises", his office revealed.

The AU on April 15 threatened to suspend Sudan if the military does not hand over power within 15 days to a civilian authority.

It has also chastised the military-led transition for taking a path that is contrary to the aspirations of the people of Sudan.

The AU suspended Egypt and the Central African Republic in 2013 following coups in both countries. Both have since had their membership restored.

The regional leaders also sought to discuss the war in Libya, where commander Khalifa Haftar is leading an offensive against Tripoli.

Since the removal of Libya’s strongman, Muammar Gadhafi from power in 2011, the country has been embroiled in chaos, with little progress in stabilizing the oil-rich country.