ADDIS ABABA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Sudan and the Sudanese people need to address the systemic grievances that date back decades, a senior African Union (AU) official has said.
The statement was made by Alhadji Sarjoh Bah, director of Conflict Management within the Political Affairs Peace and Security Department at the AU, during the third meeting of the Expanded Mechanism for the Sudan Crisis Wednesday.
"We need to start planning and preparing for the inclusive negotiations on a political process, one which would address both the immediate and long-term causes of the Sudanese crisis," an AU statement quoted Bah as saying. "While disagreements over the reform of the security sector did provide the immediate trigger for the conflict, Sudan and the Sudanese need to address the systemic grievances that date back decades."
The director said the AU is working to support such an inclusive political process, which would allow for the full representation of the voices of all sectors of Sudanese civil society and political parties.
He said the AU is embarking on a tour of regional capitals, to express its concerns over the crisis in Sudan, and the potential impact on the neighboring states and at the continent level, if the fighting is not arrested immediately and an inclusive political process is allowed to start.
In his address to the meeting, Bah further outlined some of the activities that are being undertaken by the AU in response to the ongoing Sudan crisis.
The director said the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has convened a meeting with the ministries of health of Sudan and its neighbors to discuss support for the devastated health sector in Sudan.
He said the Africa CDC has allocated an amount of 3 million U.S. dollars to acquire urgent medical supplies and medicines, which it is working on transporting to Port Sudan.
Noting that there have been reports of an alarming increase in sexual assault by the warring parties, Bah said the AU special envoy on women, peace and security has also convened a meeting with Sudanese women to explore ways of supporting them.