President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi chairing the African summit on Sudan in Cairo, Egypt. April 23, 2019. Press Photo
CAIRO - 23 April 2019: The African summit meeting on Sudan held in Cairo has kicked off on Tuesday. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi delivered the opening speech as chair of the African Union (AU).
“This meeting embodies our faith in our joint responsibility and our eagerness to reinforce African collective work. That (meeting) corresponds to the spirit and principles of solidarity, fraternity, and unity with Sudan, which is going through an extraordinary stage at present, and is an enactment of the concept called ‘African solutions for African problems,’” President Sisi.
The president saluted the Sudanese people “for its civil and peaceful behavior, ability to express its willpower and legitimate ambitions for change, and aspiration for democratic transition embedded in the rule of law, freedom principles, justice establishment, building state institutions, and development accomplishment.”
President Sisi affirmed Egypt’s “full support for the choices of the Sudanese people, its free willpower in shaping its country’s future, and what it will agree upon in such crucial and determining phase of its history.”
“Our meeting today aims at discussing the consecutive developments in Sudan and backing the efforts of the Sudanese people to fulfill its hopes and ambitions in its struggle for building a better future. Meanwhile, we must take into consideration the efforts deployed by the transitional military council, and the Sudanese political and civil powers to reach a national accord that enables them to go through such critical and challenging stage, and achieve a smooth and peaceful circulation of power. That is in addition to the accomplishment of the goals of the transitional phase, the preservation of the state institutions, and the unity and territorial integrity (of Sudan) inhibiting the country from falling into chaos and avoiding its subsequent destructive impact on Sudan, its people, and the entire region,” President Sisi said.
The president asserted that the solution must be produced by the Sudanese through an inclusive dialogue among different political powers, and the solution must lead to free and fair elections and a clear vision of the goals of the transitional phase.
“Establishing the concept of “African solutions for African problems” is the only way to deal with joint challenges. The African states are the most able to understand the complications of their issues, and the uniqueness of its affairs. Hence, (African states) are the most capable of finding serious and realistic solutions that achieve the interests of its peoples and shield their internal affairs from foreign interventions or imposition of foreign solutions that do not match their reality,” President Sisi stated.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi posing for a group photo with African leaders in the summit held on Sudan in Cairo, Egypt. April 23, 2019. Press Photo
The president stated that the purpose of the meeting is getting acquainted with the developments in Sudan and anticipating what the Sudanese want with regard to their future.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki will present his vision to deal with the situation in Sudan and the efforts he is making following a recent visit to Khartoum.
President Sisi called upon the international community to be understanding of the situation in Sudan and to alleviate the impact of the pressing economic crisis, which constitutes an obstacle to stability and aspired ambitions.
Egypt is hosting two African summits on Sudan and Libya on Tuesday. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has met early on Tuesday South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi 'Farmaajo.'
The summit meetings will include Chad President Idriss Déby, Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi 'Farmaajo,' South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, South African President’s Advisor on Security Affairs Tut Kew Gatluak, Ugandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa, Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Monica Juma, Nigerian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mustapha Lawal Suleiman and Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki.
The summit on Sudan is aimed at discussing the political developments in the country, consulting over the most suitable methods to deal with them, reinforcing joint work, and exploring mechanisms to support stability and peace.
Protests had started on December 19 demanding the overthrow of Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. On April 11, Former Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf announced that “the regime was headed off and (its ruler) is under arrest in a safe place.” He also declared the suspension of the constitution, and the formation of a transitional military council to rule the country.
On April 12, Ibn Auf was sworn in as head of interim military council. The following day, the council affirmed that Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 26 years, would be prosecuted in the country. In 2009, the U.N.’s International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Bashir and Arab tribal allies, Janjaweed militias, of committing a genocide in Darfur and South Sudan between 2003 and 2007 against non-Arab Sudanese. The conflict with rebel groups caused the death of 200,000 and the displacement of two million.
On April 13, Lieutenant General Abdel Fatah al-Burhan was sworn in as head of the transitional military council of Sudan instead of Ibn Auf. On the same day, the council announced that a new interim civilian government would be formed after a dialogue was held with all political parties, and lifting the one-month curfew imposed after the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir.
On April 16, the council declared that Sudanese forces would not be pulled out the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthis in Yemen.
On April 17, the Egyptian delegation that visited Sudan stated that Egypt has “full confidence” in the ability of the Sudanese people and their “loyal” national army to overcome the challenges of such “decisive” stage and meet the Sudanese people’s aspiration to achieve stability, progress and prosperity. On the same day, the council stated that measures against corruption would be taken.