In a virtual meeting of the Peace and Security Council today, African Union leaders restated their unwavering commitment to restoring peace and stability in the Republic of Sudan.
The meeting, chaired by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda and Chairman of the Peace and Security Council for May 2023, addressed the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The clashes between the two rival military groups primarily stem from the issue of integrating the RSF into the Armed Forces, including the transitional period and the overseeing authority of this integration. Since the outbreak of the conflict on April 15, 2023, the number of displaced individuals has surpassed 936,000, with over 1,800 reported fatalities.
The Peace and Security Council strongly condemned the fighting in Sudan, emphasizing that the integration process should not be a catalyst for such a devastating war. President Museveni, drawing on previous experiences of army integration in Uganda and other parts of Africa, stressed that the issue could be resolved scientifically, taking into account various parameters such as the health, education, training, and age of potential candidates.
Moreover, the Council expressed deep concern over the eruption of fighting in Khartoum, viewing it as a significant setback to the progress made by the transitional authorities. These authorities had previously achieved milestones towards the restoration of constitutional order, including the agreement on a political framework that established a four-month transitional period following the appointment of a civilian Prime Minister and the withdrawal of the military from government institutions.
The Peace and Security Council commended Ethiopia, as well as neighbouring countries such as South Sudan and Chad, for their efforts in facilitating the safe passage and reception of individuals fleeing the war-torn areas.
President Museveni, in his engagements with both sides of the conflict, reiterated his earlier advice to move away from identity politics and focus on the politics of interest. He emphasized the criticality of a ceasefire to enable peaceful elections, urging both parties to cease fire, and halt mobilization and reinforcements, as these actions often spark further violence. He further advised that both sides disengage and engage in dialogue, with the ultimate aim of conducting elections.