By Chris Zumani Zimba
The vision of the African Union (AU) is that of: “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.
In like manner, its core values in guiding and governing the functioning and operations of the AU Commission are:
- Respect for diversity and team work;
- Think Africa above all;
- Transparency and accountability;
- Integrity and impartiality;
- Efficiency and professionalism; and
- Information and knowledge sharing.
It is against the aforesaid background that we must all support and commend the political and policy decision taken by the African Union (AU) to suspend Sudan’s membership days after the military launched a brutal crackdown on protesters that killed dozens of people.
In an official Twitter yesterday, the AU’s Peace and Security Department said in a post on Twitter on Thursday yesterday that Sudan’s participation in all AU activities would be suspended with immediate effect – “until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority,” which it described as the only way to “exit from the current crisis”.
The announcement followed an emergency meeting by the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after the violent dispersal of a protest camp in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, began on Monday which saw several innocent citizens dead.
At least 108 people have been killed and more than 500 wounded, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), while a health ministry official was quoted as saying the death toll stood at 61.
However, according to Al Jazeera, there were unable to independently confirm the differing tolls after its journalists were ordered not to report from the country.
Al Jazeera reported that Sudan’s pro-democracy leaders have vowed to continue their campaign of civil disobedience until the Transitional Military Council (TMC) – which has ruled Sudan since longtime leader Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a coup in April – is removed and killers of protesters are brought to justice.
The Sudanese Professionals Association on Thursday asked people to block main roads and bridges to “paralyse public life” across the country in retaliation for the military crackdown. In response to the killings, AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat on Monday called for an “immediate and transparent investigation in order to hold all those responsible accountable”.
The AU had earlier warned of suspension if Sudan’s military did not hand over power, but extended the deadline on Saturday after the previous one was ignored.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. Besides being the CEO at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Town, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:45hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles on African politics and public health. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments. Chriszumanizimba.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp