Museveni chairs crucial peace and security council meeting on Sudan conflict

President Yoweri Museveni chairing a virtual meeting of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council Heads of State and Government on Friday, June 21, 2024, at State Lodge, Nakasero

Kampala, (UG):- President Yoweri Museveni Friday chaired a virtual meeting of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council Heads of State and Government for which he is the current Chairperson for the month of June 2024.

During the meeting, the leaders discussed the ongoing conflict in Sudan and explored ways to enhance coordinated efforts among regional and international partners to achieve peace and stability for the Sudanese people.

Mr Museveni revealed that the war in Sudan was caused by the ideological mistakes by the country’s leaders. “It is now 70 years since our neighbouring country which is part of this region has been in war more or less continuously and this has been because of some mistakes which we many times talk about with the Sudanese leaders.”

He added; “The first mistake was the politics of identity of Africans Vs Arabs or vice versa, Identity of religions; Muslims Vs Christians. This is the reason that caused war for a long time, and we normally talk to Sudanese leaders like Gen. Bashir and this is the problem also in other parts of Africa. Even in Uganda here, we had the same problem; people who were pushing the politics of identity instead of the politics of interest of the people. I’m this religion, I’m that tribe. This was the original problem.”

The President highlighted mistake number two as using force and arms instead of using dialogue. “Mistake number three, when you use force, you use unprepared people who are not disciplined and have got a wrong ideology yet armed with internal and external forces. That is how you get this catastrophe, the one you are seeing.”

Even if it is a war, it doesn’t need to affect the whole population unless there’s something wrong with the managers of that conflict,” he noted.

“The war crimes are because of those mistakes. Therefore, I’m very happy with the Security Council and other members who have attended. They are all begging the Sudanese factions to please stop the war now, have a ceasefire, go for dialogue and hand the country to its owners; the Sudanese people vote for the person they want.”

Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission informed the meeting that as leaders they must do all it takes to ensure that a ceasefire is realised in Sudan.

“The African Union, with the implementation of the decisions of your council, we have been engaging all those in the spectrum of the conflict to facilitate the peace process,” he said, adding that the protection of human rights and the International Humanitarian law will only be possible if national reconciliation is realised.

“It is for this reason I call for the strengthening of international solidarity to ensure democratic transition in Sudan leading to free and fair elections in order to avoid all sorts of crises that could create further chaos in the country and the region.”

Mr. Mahamat also commended President Museveni for his efforts in facilitating the peace process in Sudan.

The IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu also briefed the meeting on the need for coordinated peace efforts among partners and friends of Sudan.

“We must prioritise the Sudanese people who have suffered immensely. IGAD remains committed to finding a path to peace for our Sudanese brothers and sisters, believing that despite the tragic year of war, there is still hope for a peaceful resolution,” he said.

Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Chairperson of the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan said the conflict in Sudan is worse than that in Ukraine and Gaza. He emphasised that the situation has reached a degree of urgency that requires bold action by the Peace and Security Council.

“Sudan is headed for an unprecedented hunger crisis. The vast majority of the hunger spots are in areas ravaged by 15 months of fighting and out of reach of humanitarian aid. Over two million people are facing emergency and even catastrophic levels of hunger. 75 people are dying each day of hunger and disease in Zam Zam camp alone. More than 15,000 fatalities have been recorded and at least 10 million people have also been displaced. such figures are horrific and are a reason for us all to act with urgency to end the conflict,” he noted.

On the other hand, the leaders demanded that warring parties namely, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) immediately stop the fighting and prioritise the interests of Sudan and its people.

They also emphasised that there’s no viable and sustainable military solution to the conflict and that only a genuine dialogue can lead to a sustainable solution to the current situation.

The leaders further emphasised the need to ensure the protection of civilians in Sudan and in this regard, requested the AU Commission in coordination with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights to investigate and make recommendations to the Peace and Security Council on practical measures to be undertaken for the protection of civilians.

The meeting was also addressed by a representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, H.E Antonio Guterres.

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