UK would only resume bilateral relations with Sudan under a civilian-led government

Two British officials said there are significant differences between parties to the Sudanese conflict, stressing that dialogue must include all parties to resolve the current political crisis in the country.

The officials stressed that the UK expects the military side not to obstruct the political settlement, noting that the resumption of bilateral relations with London is linked to the formation of a transitional government led by civilians. in Sudan.

The UK’s special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather, said it was not easy, but it was essential to listen to all parties and discuss the establishment of confidence and making progress.

Fairweather was on a three-day visit to Sudan, accompanied by UK envoy to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, Sarah Montgomery.

He pointed to the significant differences between the Sudanese sides and said the UK had received positive indications. However, he stressed that actions speak louder than words.

The two British officials reiterated their country’s support for dialogue between the parties to reach a settlement leading to a political breakthrough, represented by the formation of a civilian-led transitional government.

During his visit to Sudan, the envoy met with the President of the Transitional Sovereign Council, General Abdulfattah al-Burhan, the Forces of Freedom and Change, and the National Consensus Forces, affiliated with the army.

Fairweather stressed the need for all to “show flexibility and compromise if real progress is to be made. It is vital for Sudanese actors and coalitions to come together and deliver the transition demanded by the people of Sudan.”

For his part, Burhan affirmed the need to reach national consensus, broaden the base of political participation and return to the path of transition after the military component announced its withdrawal from the political process.

He expressed his confidence in the trilateral mechanism as a platform, calling on the UK and the international community to urge the parties to cooperate and reach a political settlement.

The visit confirms London’s support for a settlement that leads to a political breakthrough and the formation of a framework for a comprehensive transitional civilian government in Sudan.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that British officials held a meeting with the trilateral mechanism, made up of UNITAMS, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), where civilian forces and military held talks.

Britain participates in the quadripartite mechanism, which includes Saudi Arabia, the United States and the United Arab Emirates, which seeks to bridge positions between military and civilian forces to reach a political settlement to resolve the crisis.

UNITMAS leader Volker Perthes underlined the inevitable need for political dialogue and said the path required explicit agreement on the tasks of the transition period and the distribution of roles and responsibilities between the different actors. .

Perthes asserted that military leaders should not play a political role, noting that the Trilateral Mechanism will continue its efforts with its partners in the international community to reach a political agreement.

He said: “Almost all stakeholders, including notably the military, have expressed their desire for the trilateral mechanism to play a role – either in bringing together the various initiatives, in proposing proposals for rapprochement or in the end in negotiating a agreement with the military.

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