The Expanded Mechanism for the Resolution of the Conflict in Sudan convened its third meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting was chaired by Professor Mohamed El-Hacen Lebatt, Spokesperson for the AU Process for Sudan. The meeting presented to the members of the Expanded Mechanism the outcomes of the 1156th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) at the level of Heads of State and Government held on 27 May 2023, the AU Roadmap for the Resolution of the Conflict in Sudan, as well as the next steps towards an inclusive, Sudanese owned process, that would end the fighting and put Sudan on the path to a democratic, civilian-led government.
The United Nations (UN) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) delivered statements as members of the Trilateral Mechanism. The UN provided an update on the status of the humanitarian assistance to the displaced population in Sudan. The IGAD expressed its commitment to fostering peace in Sudan and stressed the need for a single, inclusive, consolidated political process. The IGAD and UN commended the AU for its leadership role and reaffirmed their support for the AU Roadmap.
The Expanded Mechanism welcomed the outcome of the PSC Summit, including the endorsement of the AU Roadmap for the Resolution of the Conflict in Sudan, as well as the upcoming regional consultations of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission and his emissaries to neighbouring countries.
The Expanded Mechanism expressed concern at the continued fighting and stressed that there is no military solution to the conflict. The importance of a coordinated approach to resolving the crisis and the need for an African-led Sudanese-owned process was underlined. The participants cautioned against the proliferation of uncoordinated initiatives that would undermine the collective effort and the sovereignty of Sudan.
The Expanded Mechanism welcomed the Jeddah Process facilitated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, which resulted in the Declaration of Commitments and the Short-term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangement and welcomed the five-day extension of the ceasefire announced on 29 May 2023. The Mechanism expressed concern at the lack of full implementation of the humanitarian ceasefire and the deteriorating humanitarian situation. In this regard, the Expanded Mechanism urged the parties to fully commit to undertaking their obligations to protect civilians and civil infrastructure and ensure the delivery of unhindered humanitarian assistance.
The role of the neighbouring countries was stressed, not only with regard to receiving large numbers of refugees, but also with respect to the potential spill-over effect of the conflict on the broader region.
The Expanded Mechanism welcomed the announcement by the AU that the inaugural meeting of the Core Group of the Expanded Mechanism will be convened in the coming days.