EU demands transition to 'inclusive civilian body' in Sudan

EU demands transition to 'inclusive civilian body' in Sudan
The EU's leading foreign policy representative on Wednesday urged Sudan's ruling transitional military council to hand over power to a civilian government as soon as possible.
2 min read
18 April, 2019
The EU representative also called for the release of all political prisoners in Sudan [AFP]

The European Union's leading foreign policy representative on Wednesday called on Sudan's transitional military council to make a "swift and orderly handover" to a civilian government.

Sudan's military took power last week after overthrowing former president Omar al-Bashir in a coup following months of mass popular protests against his nearly 30-year rule.

While the military has said its transitional council, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, will hand over power to a civilian government in two years time, protesters continue to demonstrate across the country calling on the council to handover power immediately.

"A swift and orderly handover to a civilian transitional body with full decision-making authority is the only way to enable a peaceful, credible and inclusive political process that can meet the aspirations of Sudanese society and lead to much-needed political and economic reforms," Federica Mogherini, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mogherini also praised the African Union (AU), which on Monday threatened to suspend Sudan if the transitional military council did not hand over power to a civilian body within 15 days.

Mogherini also signalled that the EU would not recognise the junta as Sudan's proper political representative.

"The people of Sudan have shown extraordinary courage and determination in their quest for peaceful change… The real architects of this change are the Sudanese people and they expect their legitimate demands to be addressed by all sides and in good faith," she said.

"The EU is ready to engage with an inclusive civilian transitional body, once in place, to design together our future relationship."

While the council has exhibited a "willingness to engage in negotiation with all political forces", said Mogherini, other measures were also necessary to build confidence in the military.

Such measures include the release of all remaining political detainees, the "immediate reform" of the security forces, and full humanitarian access to the country, particularly the conflict zones of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.