The president of the Sovereign Transitional Council of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, announced on August 19 in a press conference that he has instructed some government officials to start the necessary consultations for the formation of a committee in charge of forming the Electoral Commission and the Commission for the drafting of the Constitution.

The elections are expected to be held in January 2024, at the end of the period of power attributed as established in August 2019 to the Sovereign Transitional Council, for the duration of three years and three months, and then extended with effect from October 2020.

The Electoral Commission will now have to convene the different political parties of the country and study the new distribution of electoral districts, as well as promote a national census and a civil registry, to attribute voting rights to all Sudanese citizens.

In terms of regional politics, on the other hand, it is worth noting that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok went to South Sudan, in Juba, on August 19 for a two-day official visit, at a time of great political tensions marked by conflicts within the SPLM/A-IO (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – Opposition Army) group, of Vice-President Riek Machar, in the aftermath of the announcement on August 4 by his former chief of staff, General Simon Gatwech Dual, of having dismissed Machar from the leadership of the party.

The purpose of Hamdok’s visit to South Sudan is to discuss the implementation of the Juba agreements signed last year, which Khartoum’s foreign minister, Mariam al-Mahdi, described as “slowly implemented.” During the visit Hamdok met President Salva Kiir and Machar, with whom he discussed bilateral relations between the two countries.

On August 15, the news of the murder in South Sudan of two nuns of the Order of the Sacred Heart, Mary Abud and Ragina Roba, killed along with three other people in an ambush set for the bus on which the two nuns were traveling on the road that connects the capital Juba with Nimula, near the border with Uganda, caused shock. The dynamics of the murder seems to rule out the possibility that the nuns were the target, since it was probably an attempt at robbery.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, finally, said during an interview held in Khartoum on August 17 that Sudan, despite Ethiopia’s rejection of the offer of mediation by Sudan, will continue to push for a peaceful solution to the conflict, “exerting every effort necessary to ensure the unity, security and stability of Ethiopia.

The position expressed by Hamdok confirms the continuity of Sudan’s attempt to establish a relationship with Ethiopia built on conciliatory tones, independent and distant from the line promoted by Egypt, and with the aim of identifying negotiating spaces for the solution of the two most delicate issues of the bilateral relationship with Addis Ababa, the GERD dam and the border issue in the al Fashaga area.

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