Western allies are now counting on Saudi Arabia’s diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Sudan, which continues despite the concerted efforts of regional and international leaders.
Saudi Arabia’s special envoy, Ahmed Bin, spoke this week Abdulaziz Kattan, the adviser to the royal court, toured the Horn of Africa and met with key players in the Sudan crisis to sell the kingdom’s Washington-backed proposal.
In meetings with officials in Sudan, as and officials from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), the envoy said he was urging direct talks between the parties in a mediation based on local realities.
“Saudi Arabia welcomes the dialogue between the Sudanese process and reiterates its support for the Trilateral Mechanism to contribute to stability and encouraging consensus levels,” said Nuur Mohamud Sheekh, Spokesman for the Executive Secretary of Igad, na After the bloc’s top officials met with the Saudi envoy in Djibouti City on Wednesday.
The trilateral mechanism involves joint efforts by the United Nations, the African Union and Igad. The three organizations persuaded the Sudanese protagonists to choose dialogue, but faced resistance as civil movements demand no role in the interim government, which has led to a stalemate.
The Saudi envoy sat down against the groups by compromising. On June 9, Saudi Arabia influenced a crucial meeting between representatives of the junta and those of the Central Committee for Freedom and Change “to exchange views on how to resolve the current political crisis and on a process leading to a democratic transition ,” said a cable from the US embassy in Khartoum, saying it supports Saudi Arabia’s role in breaking the stalemate. The committee had initially denied any role or meeting with the mediator.
“We welcomed their stated commitment to put the interests of the nation first and to involve other stakeholders,” the US mission said. However, Washington has made it clear that it is not pushing for a parallel mechanism to that of the UN-AU-Igad, but only aims to build trust between parties that have not met for some time.
Saudia has maintained good relations with the interim government and led a coalition of countries including Germany and the US under the Friends of Sudan banner to raise funds to help rebuild the country’s economy. But most donors have somewhat frozen funds to await a political solution.
This week, the mechanism had started at another low point after civil movements stayed away from meetings in Khartoum.
Washington said it supports the mechanism “towards a civilian-led government and in support of the AU-UN Igad process”. the interim government must be civilian.