By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE
The African Union (AU) Commission hosted a special ministerial meeting with over 20 International and regional organisations as well as AU countries calling for week-long humanitarian cease-fire in Sudan in connection with the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
The organisations and states called for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire for a week starting from midnight East African Time on 20 April 2023, to allow unhindered humanitarian access during the observance of Eid al-Fitr, and to further pave the way for a more permanent ceasefire.
“We demand that the belligerents, namely the SAF and the RSF, establish humanitarian corridors and allow for unhindered humanitarian access and evacuation of injured civilians; address urgently the rehabilitation of critical basic infrastructure, in particular, water and electricity utilities and ensure access by the civilian population to these services; respect the safety of diplomatic and humanitarian personnel; and also ensure the re-opening of all modes of transport, in particular the Khartoum International Airport” reads part of the collective communique released late on Thursday.
They also demanded that the two warring factions urgently address the rehabilitation of critical basic infrastructure, in particular, water and electricity utilities, and ensure access by the civilian population to these services.
While strongly rejecting any form of external interference which would further complicate the situation on the ground, they urged for the immediate resumption of the political process, through dialogue and negotiations, towards the establishment of an inclusive, democratic transitional civilian-led government.
Participants among others were Comoros: Current Chair of the African Union and several other regional and International Organizations including UN, IGAD, the Arab League and EU.
Neighboring Countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt, Libya, Chad, Eritrea, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Djibouti were also present at the ministerial special session on Sudan which was held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that his country didn’t deploy its forces to the Sudanese border.
He was reacting to reports alleging that Ethiopian forces carried out an invasion and attack on Al-Fashaga, a contested territory claimed by both Addis Ababa and Khartoum.
The Ethiopian leader said there are actors trying to instigate conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan by spreading false allegations to gain political advantages at this critical time when the peoples of Ethiopia and Sudan are facing multiple challenges.
“We firmly believe in resolving the border issues through dialogue and discussions.” He said further warning those actors to refrain from their acts.
(The East African Daily)