African Union quits 'dishonest' Sudan talks

"The AU cannot continue these dishonest, opaque discussions which sideline participants or treat them in an unjust way," the bloc's ambassador to Sudan, Mohammed Belaiche, told reporters late Tuesday.

African Union quits 'dishonest' Sudan talks
Mohamed Hassan Ould Labbat (R), special envoy of the African Union (AU) Commission, speaks with AU's ambassador in Khartoum, Mohammed Balaish (L), during a meeting of representatives of the tripartite mechanism in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on 8 June 2022. Picture: Ashraf Shazly/AFP

KHARTOUM - The African Union has said it will no longer broker talks on getting Sudan's transition back on track after an October military coup as a civilian boycott had made them "dishonest".

"The AU cannot continue these dishonest, opaque discussions which sideline participants or treat them in an unjust way," the bloc's ambassador to Sudan, Mohammed Belaiche, told reporters late Tuesday.

The AU suspended Sudan after the military's 27 October overthrow of a joint civilian-military transitional government installed in the aftermath of the army's 2019 ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

Many foreign donors cut off aid, which accounts for 40% of state revenues, prompting military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to agree to talks launched by the United Nations, the AU and east African bloc IGAD earlier this month.

But the talks have been undermined by a boycott by all significant civilian players, including both Sudan's established political parties and groups born out of the mass protests that led to Bashir's ouster.

Since US envoys failed to persuade the civilians to give the talks a chance, the process has been put on hold indefinitely.