While your latest directive to suspend Sudan from the organisation and continued demand for only a civilian-led transition authority to resolve the Sudan Crisis is commendable, it is not enough!
It is about time the AU changes the way it responds to gross human violations. We should not sit and watch as the ruling military through RSF brutalizes our brothers and sisters in Sudan with bloated bodies pulled from the Nile.
I say this because on April 15th you issued a deadline of 15 days for the country to install a civilian government or risk getting kicked out of the bloc and yet…
You then issued a new 60-day warning on May 1st after Sudan’s military council missed an earlier deadline to hand over control to civilians. Of course, they missed.
The only transition that has taken place after Al Bashir’s removal is the return of the old guard who appear centred on the political direction the country is taking. This goes completely against the aspirations of the people of Sudan whose elation quickly turned to anger and then disappointment and suffering.
The transitional military council has yet to cede power to a civilian-headed transitional authority which is what the civilians demanded. Instead, the military council is adamant that a civilian rule might take up to 2 years for a full transition. Discussions have hit a wall, both teams maintaining they should hold a majority in any new council. Meanwhile, the death toll is rising and the revolution is not safeguarded.
It is increasingly unclear whether the military is even interested in handing over power to civilians. Instead, the TMC heads paid visits to their backers in the Gulf. This has been a shameful turn of events, unacceptable to say the least and people of Sudan are the ones suffering here, being dehumanized and living with consequences they did not anticipate for, with little reason for optimism.
This organization has also been accused of looking away for a decade and of shielding leaders like Hemeti and Bashir for far too long. Sanctions are not enough, interventions have destroyed Nations like Libya. Preaching peace without justice is definitely not enough. As we grapple with all this, the victims are crying for help. The Civil society in April addressed a letter to this effect with calls for strong AU support for civilian transition in Sudan.
Gone are the days when Africans would fold back their hands and watch as countries disseminate. We need to do more for our citizens. The AU has had a series of failings over the years in fulfilling its mandate, but Sudan shouldn’t be one of them. The AU can do more than suspending Sudan “with immediate effect’ or “deep regret”. Aiding regional power play through lack of courage or political will to drive change through delayed reactions or sometimes deafening silence is not the answer.