Former President Thabo Mbeki has called upon those at the forefront of the armed conflict in Sudan to employ an alternative approach to making their demands heard. The conflict in the northeastern African country has attracted international attention, with the capital city Khartoum having been brought to its knees as residents report running out of water, food, and power supply.
More than 200 people have reportedly lost their lives in the heavy bombardments and gunfire between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
“I have had the privilege of working closely with the government and people of Sudan for almost 20 years as they sought to address their most fundamental problems. Many of those problems remain to this day. “The current violent conflict by the official armed Sudan formations will not solve any of these problems but will, instead, further postpone their resolution.
“Accordingly, I appeal to Generals Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo to immediately end the fighting which, among others, is imposing serious negative consequences on the civilian population,” said Mbeki.
The former mediator said it didn’t help that over and above the armed conflict, the country was facing a strenuous economic crisis.“Sudan will not be able to achieve stability and gain the ability successfully to address its deeply entrenched socio-economic challenges unless it completes the transition to democracy, following the overthrow of the Bashir regime.
“The two immediate steps that are required are an immediate end to the current unacceptable violent conflict and a return to the negotiations to reconstitute the transitional Government, ensuring that it is civilian-led,” Mbeki said. “It is only these measures which will address the current expectations of the long-suffering people of Sudan.”Mbeki’s plea joins a chorus of many who wish to see the warring leaders return to the negotiation table. Recently, the South African government expressed concern over the conflict and found it disturbing that ordinary people were caught in the middle.
“The South African Government calls for peace and calm among the parties involved in the conflict, in keeping with the African Union objective of silencing the guns on the continent.“South Africa appeals to the different factions of the Sudanese army to immediately cease all fighting, spare the Sudanese people any further violence during this holy month of Ramadan and immediately return to the negotiation table,” said Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela.