The African Union has given Sudan’s military rulers another 60 days to hand over power to a civilian authority or face suspension after an earlier deadline was missed.
The AU had threatened to suspend Sudan following a coup that saw Omar al-Bashir ousted by the military after nearly three decades in power, giving the army 15 days from April 15 to relinquish power.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the AU Peace and Security Council said it “notes with deep regret, however, that the Sudanese Military has not stepped aside and has not handed over power to a civilian-led transitional Authority” within the initial deadline.
But it announced, “an additional period of up to sixty days for the military in Sudan to hand over power to a civilian-led Transitional Authority”.
The PSC said it “reiterates its conviction that a military-led transition in Sudan will be totally unacceptable and contrary to the will and legitimate aspirations, to democratic institutions and processes, as well as respect for human rights and freedoms of the Sudanese people.”
Sudanese protesters are growing increasingly frustrated with the army, and have called a mass protest on Thursday, accusing the military leaders of not being serious about handing power to civilians.
The two sides have been at odds over their representation in the council supposed to replace the military body that took power after Bashir’s ouster on April 11 in the face of mass protests.
The military has been pushing for a 10-member council including seven military representatives and three civilians.
Protesters meanwhile want a majority of civilians on a 15-member joint council with seven military representatives.
The AU granted the extension after acknowledging “the gradual progress made so far by the Sudanese parties in the negotiations towards an agreement on the modalities, structures and timelines of a civilian-led Transitional Authority.”