AFRICA/SUDAN - Sudan Youth conference: ‘War an attempt to beat Sudanese back into submission’

Wednesday, 20 March 2024

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - More than 160 Sudanese youth convened from Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Chad, and Egypt, to discuss ways to bring an end to the ongoing conflict.

To provide humanitarian aid to affected regions, advocate for youth involvement in civil political processes, and set forth the path to transitional justice
Are the other objectives of the members of the newly formed Sudanese Youth Network in addition to ending the war and establishing a democratic civil transformation in Sudan.

"The network will engage, in the first step, with all the actors at home and abroad who are working to stop the war in Sudan," reads a statement from a participating member who pointed out that the network focuses on internal actors "looking for an external solution and ignoring internal voices is hindering the peace process".

"We will also engage with humanitarian actors and youth in areas such as Jebel Marra, South Kordofan, and eastern Sudan which are controlled by armed movements, to involve them in our efforts to stop the war." During the conference, the issue of meeting with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) was also discussed. "The longer the war lasts, the more likely that other parties emerge, and a solution becomes more complicated."

"To convey the voice of youth against those who started the war, and those who wish for it to continue", is what Mohieldin Omar, advisor to the US ambassador to Sudan, firmly supported, who told the participants that "any political initiative excluding the youth would lack legitimacy and not receive support from the United States ."

Omar reaffirmed US commitment to supporting peace initiatives, reinstating democratic civil governance in Sudan, and facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid. He pointed to the recent appointment of a special envoy to Sudan as evidence of this commitment, adding that the envoy "will soon go on a regional tour to advance peace efforts in Sudan." "Sudan is faced with two options after the war: to rebuild itself on new foundations, or to have no Sudan - declared a university professor present at the meeting. This war must be a turning point, - he continues - so that we can look at our problems from new and different angles". The professor concluded with the belief that youth are the most qualified to lead this transformation. “Your successful organization of this conference, which united Sudanese youth from various backgrounds, should be seen as a significant event in Sudanese and global political history.”

The four-day meeting was held in Entebbe, Uganda. The conflict broke out on April 15, 2023 between the regular army (Sudan Armed Forces, SAF), led by Abdelfattah Al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (see Fides, 17/4/2023). (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 20/3/2024)