The Tripartite Mechanism Dilemma

Osman Mirghani

According to a news article, the designated Foreign Minister, Ambassador Ali Al-Sadiq said that the UNITAMS had failed in its tasks, as it was supposed to provide funds or electoral arrangements such as the population census and defining the electoral districts, but it did not succeed to provide the required funds.

The statement of the Minister seems to be an introduction to put an end to the mission considering that the UNITAMS task will expire by the 3rd of June 2022 unless the UNSC renews its mandate.

The UNITAMS was not imposed on Sudan by the UNSC, but rather came in response to an official request by the Sudanese Prime Minister, Dr. Abdallah Hamdok.

There were fears that the mission would include a UN military presence, reinforcing the claims of those accusing it of undermining Sudan’s sovereignty and interfering in its internal affairs.

However, the mission was confined to a limited civilian team at its head office in Khartoum led by German Prof. Volker Perthes.

During a whole year of its existence, it was not attractive to news reports because most of its work was behind the scenes, but after October 25th, 2021 and the overthrew of the Constitutional Document, then its turned into an axis of political polarization between those who consider the shuttle movements of the UNIATMS chief between the army H.Q. and the place where the PM was detained a blatant interference in the Sudanese internal affairs and those who see it as normal in the context of the mandate of the mission to make the transition to an elected democratic regime a success.

When the head of the mission presented his regular report before the UNSC the last march, the Sudanese authorities were angry and Al-Burhan said in press statements that the UNITAMS could be expelled.

Accordingly, during the second phase of the political process, in which the UNITAMS started actively and held consultative meetings were more than 800 Sudanese personalities representing the political parties,  civil society organizations, Sufi sects leaders, IDPs, and stakeholders, stopped.

All of a sudden Khartoum received the AU representative,  Prof, Ould Labat (who has previously led the AU mediation in Sudan in 2019 which resulted in the signature of the Constitutional Document. Then Khartoum airport received the IGAD representative.

The Transitional Council decided to dissolve the UNITAMS in a tripartite mechanism i.e. UN, AU, and IGAD to initiate a new phase under the title (preparatory negotiation) before entering into the roundtable stage between the Sudanese parties.

But even these preparatory negotiations were rejected by several Sudanese parties.

The tripartite mechanism initiated a new process called (indirect negotiations) a matter that means returning to square one of the UNITAMS process which started 5 months ago at a time when our country is suffering economic collapse and security tensions.

The main  Sudanese political players being in the government or parties are in dispute over anything except hindering the political process that the UNITAMS had started.

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