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The fourth meeting of the Expanded Mechanism for the Resolution of the Sudan Crisis, comprising of the African Union Commission, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the European Union, the Republic of Ghana, the Republic of Mozambique, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Chad, the Union of Comoros, the Republic of Djibouti, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the State of Eritrea, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, the State of Libya, the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of France, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Peoples Republic of China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Norway, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Republic of Turkiye, met virtually at the level of Permanent Representatives to the African Union, on 4 December 2023, convened by the Commission of the African Union.

Participants reiterated their support for the sovereign independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sudan. They expressed their grave concern at the continuing conflict in Sudan, which has spread to new areas hitherto unaffected by the fighting, with credible reports of grave crimes, in particular, war crimes, crimes against humanity and sexual assault.

The participants reiterated that there can be no sustainable military solution to the crisis in Sudan, and only an inclusive, representative, Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led dialogue among all Sudanese stakeholders, including the belligerents, other armed movements, political parties, civil society organizations, women and youth groups, resistance committees, labour unions and professional associations, traditional leaders, and academics, can lead to a peaceful and sustainable solution to the crisis.

Participants demanded that the belligerents, namely the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), immediately agree to a comprehensive and unconditional ceasefire and return to the negotiating table in order to seek a peaceful return to a transition to civilian constitutional rule in Sudan.

Participants also demanded that the belligerents facilitate safe humanitarian access and ensure the protection of civilians, in line with international humanitarian law and international human rights law as well as the provisions of the agreements already reached in the Jeddah talks. They commended the efforts of the humanitarian actors, both Sudanese and international, who are providing much needed support to the Sudanese population in the face of continuing attacks and threats on their lives and property, and urged those in a position to do so, to increase their humanitarian support to Sudan, in the face of ever-growing need. Participants also commended all the countries, in particular those neighbouring Sudan, which have welcomed large numbers of Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers, and further urged increased international financial and logistical support to host countries and communities.

Participants expressed grave concern at credible reports of atrocity crimes throughout Sudan, and stressed that accountability must be part of any response in the search for peace in Sudan, to ensure justice and healing for victims and affected communities.

Participants stressed the need for countries of the region, and beyond, to maintain neutrality and to refrain from providing military, political or financial support to the belligerents in Sudan.

Participants reiterated the importance of the Expanded Mechanism as a tool to coordinate international action on Sudan, and agreed that it should meet regularly, at least once a month, convened by the African Union Commission, in order to avoid fragmentation and proliferation of all international and regional initiatives on Sudan. They urged the expeditious convening of the Core Group, to consider practical steps in the efforts towards a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the Sudanese crisis.

Participants called on the AU and IGAD to implement without delay their plan for the convening of an inclusive political dialogue of all Sudanese actors, to discuss both a permanent cessation of hostilities as well as the constitution of a civilian transitional government.

Participants welcomed the appointment of H.E. Ramtane Lamamra as the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General on the Sudan crisis, and expressed support for the AU and IGAD Roadmaps on Sudan towards the requisite inclusive Sudanese-owned political process, facilitated by the AU and IGAD and with the support of all members of the Expanded Mechanism and, in this regard, urge those countries in a position to do so to provide the necessary financial, technical and logistical support to the political process.

Posted by Situation Room ICU

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