Amid calls by Western powers for the Sudanese army to avoid appointing a government unilaterally, Molly, in the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, made a phone call with Lieutenant-General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), Vice President of the Sovereign Council in Sudan, to discuss arrangements for the democratic transition in the country.
Today, Wednesday, the Sovereignty Council said in a statement that Hemedti provided the US official with a detailed explanation of the political situation in the country, and expressed his hope that the United States would continue its efforts to assist Sudan in the democratic transition process.
Hemedti said – according to the statement – that “the way out of the political crisis in the country lies in initiating a comprehensive dialogue that leads to a national consensus that includes all Sudanese.”
The statement quoted the Assistant Secretary of State for affirming her country’s keenness to cooperate and coordinate with the government of Sudan, in order to make the transitional phase successful and achieve democratic transformation, and its support for a dialogue between the Sudanese parties to overcome the current crisis.
The Troika concerned with Sudan – which includes the United States, Britain and Norway – issued a joint statement with the European Union, stressing that it “will not support a prime minister or a government appointed without the participation of a wide range of civilian stakeholders.”
These Western powers said that they still believed in the democratic transition in Sudan, but they issued a veiled warning to the army.
“In the absence of progress, we will consider accelerating efforts to hold accountable those who obstruct the democratic process,” she stressed.
The Troika and the European Union called for elections in Sudan – set for the year 2023 according to the democratic transition program – and for building independent legislative and judicial institutions.
“Any unilateral move to appoint a new prime minister and government would undermine the credibility of these institutions and threaten to plunge the country into conflict,” the statement said.
Western powers again warned of the army’s handling of the demonstrations protesting its decisions, which were renewed on Tuesday in the capital, Khartoum, and several states, to demand the removal of the military and the establishment of civilian rule.
In turn, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said – on Tuesday – that the matter in Sudan should be “a transitional phase led by civilians, not just a transitional phase in which civilians participate.”
He added that the United States was considering “all options” available to it, which was understood as a threat to impose sanctions on military leaders.
Sudan has witnessed frequent protests and a state of tension since the tensions in the country last October, when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan overthrew the civilian transitional government.