The African Union Peace and Security Council on Thursday took a decision to suspend Sudan from activities of the continental body, until the ongoing political crisis is resolved.
In a statement issued after a crisis meeting was held, the AU demanded the establishment of a Civilian-led Transitional Authority, saying it was the only way to allow the Sudan to exit from the current crisis.
The decision follows an upsurge in violence in Sudan this week as its ruling military council and opposition groups contest the authority to take charge of the transition to democracy.
The government and the opposition have issued contradictory death tolls from Monday’s raid on a protesters camp in the capital Khartoum. While the opposition says the death toll has surpassed 100, Sudan’s health ministry on Thursday said 61 people were killed.ALSO READ: Eritrea tells ‘weak’ African Union to ‘wake up’ over Sudan crisis
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.
Ethiopia to mediate?
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 not clear if Abiy would be acting under AU auspices.
Abiy last month pledged not to interfere in Sudan’s transition process during a visit by the country’s military ruler, General Abdul Fattah Burhan.READ MORE: Ethiopia PM pledges not to interfere in Sudan’s transition process