African summit gives Sudan army more time

A protester makes a victory sign during a demonstration in front of the Defense Ministry in Khartoum. — Reuters

CAIRO — African leaders meeting in Cairo agreed to give Sudan’s ruling military council more time to implement democratic reforms, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said on Tuesday.

The decision appears to extend a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power to civilians or to be suspended from the grouping. The TMC took over after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted on April 11.

Speaking at the end of a summit attended by several African heads of state, Sisi said that the meeting agreed on the need to deal with the situation in Sudan and to install a comprehensive democratic system.

The states had agreed to give “more time” to carry out these measures with the help of the African Union, Sisi said in his closing remarks at the summit.

The TMC is under pressure from protesters to immediately hand over power to a civilian administration. The TMC says it wants to oversee a transitional period of up to two years but is willing to work with a civilian government comprised of technocrats.

The Egyptian president also called on the international community to “shoulder the pressing economic burden” created by Sudan’s challenges.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday announced $3 billion (2.7 billion euros) in financial support for Khartoum. — Agencies