Sudanese Political Figures Agree on Ceasefire and Civilian Rule, Differ on Military's Role

Sudanese factions agree on need for ceasefire, dialogue to establish democracy, but differences remain on military's role. International efforts aim to end violence and restore stability in Sudan.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Sudanese Political Figures Agree on Ceasefire and Civilian Rule, Differ on Military's Role

Sudanese Political Figures Agree on Ceasefire and Civilian Rule, Differ on Military's Role

Sudanese political figures concluded a three-day workshop in Geneva on April 20, 2024, facilitated by the Swiss foreign ministry and the French Promediation group. The participants, who attended in a personal capacity, agreed on the need for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow aid access and the importance of a Sudanese-led dialogue to establish a pluralistic democracy.

However, significant differences remain on the inclusion of the National Congress Party (NCP), which aligns with the former regime, and the role of the military, including the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces, in the process. Further discussions are needed to determine the format, agenda, location, funding, and the role of external actors.

The workshop echoes a similar agreement reached at a Paris meeting on April 15th, which included only civilian actors, while the Geneva meeting also involved the armed movements that signed the Juba peace agreement.

Why this matters: The ongoing war in Sudan between rival generals has sparked a major humanitarian crisis. The UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo condemned the continued flow of weapons from foreign supporters, which has prolonged the conflict. Finding a resolution to the differences among Sudanese factions is critical to ending the violence and restoring stability in the country.

The violence has been particularly severe in the Darfur region, with the Arab-dominated Rapid Support Forces carrying out brutal attacks on ethnic African civilians. The UN is calling for renewed efforts to bring peace, including a proposed meeting with African and Arab organizations.

DiCarlo welcomed the outcome of the international humanitarian conference for Sudan organized in Paris on April 15, which emphasized the need for unity of purpose and action among peace initiatives for Sudan. She also mentioned the Jeddah platform as a "promising vehicle" for dialogue between the warring parties to achieve an agreement on a ceasefire and related transitional security arrangements.

Key Takeaways

  • Sudanese figures agreed on need for ceasefire, Sudanese-led dialogue for democracy.
  • Differences remain on inclusion of former regime party and military's role in process.
  • Geneva meeting involved armed movements, unlike previous Paris meeting of civilian actors.
  • UN condemns foreign weapons supply prolonging conflict, calls for renewed peace efforts.
  • Jeddah platform seen as promising for ceasefire and transitional security dialogue.