The AU Peace and Security Council convened an emergency session on the ongoing political and security developments in Sudan on Sunday, April 16, 2023 (Photo AUC).

AU PSC Condemns Deadly Clashes in Sudan, Rejects Foreign Interference

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union Peace and Security Council has “strongly condemned” the the ongoing deadly violence in Sudan, urging country’s rival armed forces to end fighting.

The Council has also rejected foreign interference in the country in a communique it adopted during a meeting on the current situation in Sudan today.

The clashes between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out in Khartoum on Saturday over a proposed transition to civilian rule.

Both armed forces continued the fighting overnight in the capital despite calls for immediate ceasefire by regional leaders.

The clashes have also spread to other cities and regions of the country, with more than 50 civilians reported dead and hundreds injured.

Call for immediate ceasefire

In its communique, the AU Peace and Security Council says it “strongly condemnedthe ongoing armed confrontation between the two sides throughout Sudan”.

“The clashes have reached a dangerous level and could escalate into a full-blown conflict, thereby undermining the progress made towards a peaceful transition to democracy and stability in Sudan,” the Council said in the Communique.

It says, an “immediate ceasefire without conditions,” is in the supreme interest of the nation, which has been run by Generals since a coup in October 2021.

The army is led by Sudan’s de facto President, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, while the RSF is under the command of Vice President Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti.

In its communique, the AUPSC has demanded the two sides “to swiftly embrace a peaceful solution and inclusive dialogue to resolve their differences”.

Talks over a proposed move to a civilian-led rule reached an impass over the timetable to integrate the RSF into the army. The RSF wanted to delay it for 10 years, but the army said it should happen in two years.

There had been signs the situation would be resolved before the two resorted to fighting on Saturday.

It’s not yet clear what triggers the fighting. The army said the conflict began when the paramilitary fighters attacked its Command, although the RSF claimed it was attacked first.

AUPSC Rejects Any Foreign Interference

According to the BBC report today, Hemedti said his troops would keep fighting until all army bases were captured. In response, Sudan’s armed forces ruled out talks “until the dissolution of the paramilitary RSF”.

This comes after an allaged foreign troops involvement in the conflict between the rival armed forces.

The RSF reportedly released a video that it said showed Egyptian troops who had “surrendered” to them in the northern city of Merowe where gunfire was heard on Saturday.

The AU security council “strongly rejects any external interference that could complicate the situation in Sudan,” its communique reads.

The Council urges countries in the region and other stakeholders to support ongoing efforts to return Sudan to the transition process towards a constitutional order.

It has also decided to undertake a Field Mission to Sudan in order to engage with all Sudanese parties and requested the AUC Chair to continue the consultations with the UN and IGAD “towards a consolidated response by the international community”, the Communique reads.

Meanwhile, the Summit of Heads of State and government of east African regional bloc, IGAD, held a virtual Extraordinary emergency session on the Sudan situation on Sunday afternoon.

The IGAD Secretary General workneh Gebeyehu said the leaders convened to show solidarity with the people of Sudan.

The leaders also “unanimously agreed to engage to diffuse the situation as a matter of urgency and remain seized of the matter,” the Secretary General added.