Outside mediation is needed to defuse Sudan’s crisis because the ruling military council and opposition distrust each other too deeply for direct talks following a deadly raid on a protest camp, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa said on Friday, Trend reports citing Reuters.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Tibor Nagy also said he had met victims of the June 3 raid during a visit this week to Khartoum and he described their accounts as “harrowing”.
The raid, in which opposition-linked doctors say more than 100 people were killed, led to the collapse of stalled talks over a political transition toward elections and civilian rule following the overthrow of autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April.
The military ousted and arrested Bashir after 16 weeks of protests, setting up a transitional council and entering talks with an alliance of protest and opposition groups that then stalled over who would lead a three-year transition.
Nagy, speaking in a telephone briefing from Addis Ababa, said Washington’s newly named envoy to Sudan, veteran diplomat Donald Booth, would focus on supporting mediation efforts led by the African Union and IGAD, an African trade bloc.
“Why mediation, why not direction negotiation between the parties? The two parties absolutely do not trust each other in any way,” Nagy said.
While in Khartoum, Nagy met opposition groups and civil society as well as military council head Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.