June 26, 2019
WASHINGTON – U.S. State Department said they are pressing the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to a civilian led-administration in agreement with the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), pointing that any unilateral government will not be credible.
The United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee Wednesday organised a hearing on the “U.S. Response to the Political Crisis in Sudan” to with the participation of Makila James, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa and the Sudans, Ramsey Day who serves as USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Africa Bureau.
James said told the lawmakers that the efforts of the State Department are to support the formation of a civilian-led transitional administration to implement the needed reforms and prepare for elections.
“We seek to held Sudanese people to avoid many risks such as a military rule a return to conflict among militias and security forces and the re-emergence of the National Congress Party and other political parties that seek to counter their inspiration,” she said.
To achieve this goal, she said they work to mobilize a joint international and regional support to the ongoing IGAD-led efforts to facilitate an agreement on the civilian-led government and stressed they made it clear to the military council that another option is not suitable.
“We have conveyed in very strong terms that a unilateral government formed by the TMC will not be credible and will not be acceptable,” said warned such a government will face a very tough time when it comes to engaging with the international community.
The statement comes as the military council implicitly rejected a draft agreement made by the IGAD Mediator Mahmoud Dirir who is appointed by the Ethiopian Prime Minister upon the request of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council.
Also, reports from Addis Ababa say the TMC did not show needed enthusiasm to a joint African Union and IGAD draft agreement as it did not respond to their claim to have the possibility to appoint some members of the technocrat government and change the FFC majority of 67% at the legislative council.
James who took part in a recent meeting in Berlin with Western and regional partners on Sudan said they called on convoy the one message to Khartoum on this respect and to make it clear they will hold the TMC accountable for any violence against the civilians by the militiamen of the Rapide Support Forces (RSF), and called to withdraw it from the capital.
“The RSF is an entity that the TMC must be accountable for, and must control” she stressed.
Following the repeated questions about the support of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to the military junta, the senior diplomat disclosed that the two Gulf countries, too, have told the State Department they want to see a civilian-led government.
“That is in their interest because they are fundamentally concerned about stability (in Sudan) because anything else would lead to broader regional instability,” she said.
“They are sending similar kind of messages. We have urged them to continue to do that publicly privately and to use their leverage” when it comes to disbursing the remaining 2.5 billons economic support to the east African nation, she further said.
When asked about any punitive measure the Administration can take to stop violence against civilians, James said they are considering all options, including possible sanctions.
“We are looking at all options, including sanctions down the line should there be any kind of a repeat of violence,” she said.
U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Donald Booth is currently in Khartoum seeking to support the efforts of the IGAD mediator and African Union envoy to persuade the parties to strike a deal before the 30 June, the deadline fixed by the PSC to hand over power to civilian-led authority.
Source: Sudan Tribune | Published: June 25, 2019