The African Union said on Thursday it had suspended Sudan until a civilian government was formed, intensifying international pressure on the country’s new military rulers to give up power. Ethiopia meanwhile will launch a mediation effort on Friday, diplomatic sources in Khartoum said. The moves take place after security forces cleared protesters from a sit-in camp in central Khartoum on Monday, killing dozens of people in the worst violence since President Omar al-Bashir was removed by the military in April after four months of generally peaceful protests. The opposition had been in talks with an interim military council over a civilian-led transition to democracy, but the negotiations faltered and this week’s crackdown marked a turning point in the power struggle. The United Nations and several foreign governments have condemned the bloodshed. The African Union’s Peace and Security Council, in a meeting in Addis Ababa on Thursday, decided to suspend Sudan from all AU activities until a civilian government has been formed. Suspension is the African Union’s normal response to any interruption of constitutional rule in one of its members. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was due to visit Khartoum on Friday to try to mediate between the military and an opposition alliance, a diplomatic source at the Ethiopian embassy in Khartoum said. The source told Reuters that Abiy would meet members of the Transitional Military Council and the opposition’s Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces during his one-day visit. Ethiopia hosts the headquarters of the African Union but it was
Russia signaled increase influence in Africa, a move seen by France as meddling in its former colonies. “We are pro-actively helping the CAR, knowingly with the support of the people and we would like our efforts to be duly reflected in the French draft,” said Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanski.
Sahle-Work Zewde was born on 21 February 1950), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and well-regarded diplomat representing Ethiopia at global, continental and regional organizations including the UN, the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had also served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to various countries. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as his Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) at the level of Under-Secretary-General.
Before her appointment in Central African Republic, she was Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. She has also served as director-general for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, posts that she held since 2006.