By Mohammed Amin </p> <p>KHARTOUM (AA) - International and regional envoys have called for the speedy handover of power in Sudan to a civilian authority in line with a timeline proposed by the African Union (AU). </p> <p>Speaking at a Monday press conference in Khartoum, Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt, the AU Commission’s special envoy to Sudan, urged Sudan’s ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) to relinquish power at the earliest possible date. </p> <p>“We are encouraged by efforts made by Sudanese stakeholders… to facilitate the transfer of power to a civilian authority in line with decisions taken by the AU Peace and Security Council,” Lebatt said. </p> <p>“All the actors -- including the MTC, the Change and Freedom [opposition alliance] and other political parties -- have requested the AU’s help in overcoming the current crisis,” he added. </p> <p>At a recent AU summit in Cairo, the pan-African body gave the MTC a three-month deadline for relinquishing power to a civilian authority.</p> <p>John Printson, the EU’s special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, has likewise called for the swift transition of power to a civilian government. </p> <p>“We appreciate the AU’s efforts to achieve a peaceful solution in Sudan,” Printson said in a statement. “We don’t intend to impose a specific solution, but we want to see a peaceful solution.” </p> <p>U.S. Charge d’Affairs in Sudan Steven Koutsis, meanwhile, also stated his country’s support for the AU position on recent political developments in Sudan. </p> <p>“On behalf of the U.S., the U.K. and Norway, we support these efforts to reach a peaceful transition [of power],” Koutsis said in a statement. </p> <p>These sentiments were echoed by Matthew Hollingworth, the UN World Food Program (WFP)’s representative in Sudan.</p> <p>“The UN continues to support the AU in its efforts, actively working [to this end] with its partners both in Sudan and in the international community,” Hollingworth stated. </p> <p>On April 11, the Sudanese army announced the “removal” of President Omar al-Bashir following months of popular protests against his 30-year rule.</p> <p>The MTC is now overseeing a two-year “transitional phase” during which it has pledged to hold free presidential elections.
Demonstrators, however, have remained on the streets to demand that the MTC hand over power — at the earliest possible date — to an elected civilian government.