Middle East

AU lifts Sudan suspension saying it created civilian gov’t

CAIRO (AP) — The African Union said Friday it lifted Sudan’s suspension because it established a civilian-led transitional government following the military’s ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir in April.

The move came a day after Sudan’s newly appointed prime minister formed a new Cabinet, part of a transitional power-sharing agreement between the military and pro-democracy demonstrators.

The deal was brokered by the AU and Ethiopia. Sudan’s military council and the pro-democracy movement signed it last month following pressure from the United States and its regional allies amid growing concerns the political crisis could ignite a civil war.

Ebba Kalondo, a spokeswoman for the AU Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, told The Associated Press: “The sanctions were lifted.”

The AU Peace and Security Council tweeted its decision, saying it is committed to “support its reconstruction and international mobilization efforts.”

The AU had suspended Sudan’s participation in the pan-African organization’s activities in June, days after security forces broke up the main protest camp in Khartoum, killing over 100 people.

The AU’s decision was aimed at pressuring the military to hand power to civilians.

Sudan on Thursday announced its first Cabinet since al-Bashir’s military ouster in April. It included Sudan’s first woman foreign minister, Asmaa Abdalla.

“The announcement of a new cabinet, including the country’s first-ever female foreign minister by Sudan’s PM Abdalla Hamdok, marks the beginning of a new era and a fitting tribute to the determination of the Sudanese people for a new Sudan,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the AU commission, said Thursday.

The Cabinet is part of the power-sharing deal, which also included a joint military-civilian Sovereign Council and legislative body. The three bodies are to govern Sudan for a little more than three years until elections can be held.

The military ousted al-Bashir in April amid nationwide protests against his three-decade rule.

Image: FILE – In this April 12, 2019 file photo, demonstrators rally in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. For the first time in three decades, Sudan has charted a path out of military rule following the formation of a power-sharing government by the pro-democracy movement and the generals who overthrew longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir. But the fragile transition will be tested as leaders confront a daunting array of challenges. (AP Photo, File)

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