KHARTOUM – The African Union (AU) has sent special envoy Mauritanian diplomat Mohamed El-Hassan Ould Labbat to Sudan following the political crisis the country has seen since the toppling of former President Omar al-Bashir.
The Union said that the new envoy is tasked with providing African assistance to the efforts of the parties in order to lay the foundations for an urgent democratic transitional phase in the country.
The AU stressed that this phase must end with the establishment of a democratic system and civil governance in Sudan.
By choosing Labbat as the envoy, the AU wants to keep abreast of developments in Sudan, facilitate the transition and establish communication between all parties.
AU Commissioner Moussa Faki Mahamat had visited Khartoum and held intensive meetings with the leaders of the ruling transitional military council and the opposition forces.
Mahamat had previously granted the council 15 days to hand over power to civilians.
The AU had held a summit in Egypt on Tuesday and agreed to give Sudan’s ruling military council two weeks to six months to hand over power to a civilian government – a key opposition demand.
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who holds the rotating AU presidency, said that the meeting agreed on the need to deal with the situation in Sudan by working to “quickly restore the constitutional system through a political democratic process led and managed by the Sudanese themselves”.
“We agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement these measures,” he added.
The presidents of Chad, Djibouti, Rwanda, the Congo, Somalia and South Africa, the AU commissioner and representatives of Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria participated in the Cairo summit.
Mahamat warned that if Sudan’s military rulers fail to hand over power to a civilian government by the end of the deadline, the country’s membership in the Union will be suspended. www.aawsat.com