Report: US and Allied Pressure Key to Reaching Deal in Sudan
Pressure by the United States and its allies on Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, as well as opposing protest groups, was key for the two sides to reach last week’s power-sharing agreement, the Associated Press has reported. The main breakthrough reportedly transpired at a secret meeting on June 29, when diplomats from the US, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pressured the two sides to accept proposals from the African Union and Ethiopia. “It was a tense but crucial meeting. It melted the ice,” an anonymous activist told AP. “The meeting was the cornerstone of Friday’s deal.” Unidentified Arab officials added that Washington also mounted pressure on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to back the proposals and intervene. The two sides eventually agreed on a jointly-ruled sovereign council – the final sticking point – for a three-year transition period before elections are held. The military will rule for the first 21 months, followed by a civilian leadership for the final 18. The two sides are expected to formally sign the agreement this week.