6 May: Sudan’s military and civilian leaders met in Saudi Arabia on Friday for negotiations aimed at ending the political turmoil that has engulfed the country since a coup last year.
The talks, hosted by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, brought together representatives of the military council that seized power in October 2021, civilian groups that led mass protests against the coup, political parties and armed movements that have been fighting for decades in Sudan’s conflict-ridden regions.
The participants discussed ways to restore constitutional order, form a transitional government that reflects the diversity of Sudanese society, hold free and fair elections and address the humanitarian challenges facing millions of Sudanese people.
The talks were welcomed by the international community, which has been calling for a peaceful and democratic transition in Sudan. The United Nations, the African Union and the United States issued statements expressing their support for the dialogue and urging the parties to reach a comprehensive and inclusive agreement that respects the aspirations of the Sudanese people.
The talks are expected to continue in the coming days as the parties try to bridge their differences and find common ground. Sudan has been facing a deepening crisis since the military ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and dissolved his power-sharing government with civilian forces that emerged from a popular uprising that toppled longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
The coup triggered widespread condemnation and sanctions from the international community, as well as renewed protests and civil disobedience by Sudanese people who demanded the restoration of civilian rule.
The military has faced pressure from regional and global powers to reverse the coup and resume dialogue with civilian groups.
The talks in Saudi Arabia are seen as a rare opportunity to break the impasse and pave the way for a peaceful and democratic future for Sudan.