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Sudan opposition divided over UN initiative for dialogue

January 10 - 2022 KHARTOUM
A protester holds a banner saying 'Gatil waladak ma bihkum baladak' - The killer of your son cannot rule your country, Khartoum, January 9 (Social media)
A protester holds a banner saying 'Gatil waladak ma bihkum baladak' - The killer of your son cannot rule your country, Khartoum, January 9 (Social media)

The United Nations initiative to facilitate an ‘intra-Sudanese process’ to end the current political impasse following the military coup d’état of October 25 has received mixed reactions from various political forces in the country.

The ‘intra-Sudanese political process’, that will be launched in consultation with Sudanese and international partners, aims at supporting Sudanese stakeholders in agreeing on a way out of the current political crisis and agree on a sustainable path forward towards democracy and peace.

All key civilian and military stakeholders, including armed movements, political parties, civil society, women’s groups, and resistance committees will be invited to participate in the UN-facilitated dialogue, said Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan and head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, during his announcement of the initiative on Saturday.

While Arab countries and Sudan’s Umma Party welcomed the idea, the Sudan Professionals Association, the Communist Party, the Baath Party, and the Resistance Committees Coordination reacted by saying they categorically reject any dialogue with the ruling military.

The Communist Party, the Baath Party, the Forces for Freedom and Change, and the Resistance Committees Coordination all stated on Sunday that they have not received any official invite from UNITAMS to participate in a comprehensive Sudanese dialogue.

The Sudanese Professionals Association issued a longer statement on Sunday, rejecting the UN initiative that “seeks to push toward normalisation with the criminals of the military coup council and their hegemony”, and underscoring that the only solution for the current situation is “the ousting of the military coup council and the establishment of a full civilian government”.

The National Umma Party (NUP) said in a press statement yesterday that it will discuss the invitation for such as soon as it has been received.

The party appreciated “the call for dialogue between the components of the political process in the country”, while at the same time emphasised its “full adherence to the choices of the Sudanese people to overthrow the October 25 coup, cancel all the decisions that resulted from it, and restore complete civil rule and constitutional legitimacy”.

Welcomed

The League of Arab States already welcomed the UN initiative in a press statement on Saturday. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrein, the UAE, and Egypt all announced their appreciation of the UN initiative.

In a statement yesterday, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs appealed to all Sudanese parties to work on choosing a new, consensual transitional prime minister and forming a government as soon as possible. The ministry expressed its readiness to support its Sudanese counterparts in all possible ways.

The Sudan Quartet (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America) welcomed the initiative as well.

“We strongly support the UN-facilitated Sudan Dialogue Initiative, and urge all Sudanese political parties to seize this opportunity to restore the country's transition to civil democracy, in line with the 2019 Constitutional Document,” the Quartet said in a joint statement on Sunday.

Sudanese initiatives

Radio Dabanga reported on Friday that a new committee made up of university directors is working on integrating eight proposals presented by various Sudanese parties to come up with a unified, comprehensive initiative to end the political stalemate following the October 25 military coup.

The proposals came from the National Umma Party (NUP), the University Directors Initiative, University of Khartoum lecturers, national experts, the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council, the Forces for Freedom and Change-National Charter, and the joint Resistance Committees Coordination.

The aim of the initiative is to unify the visions of the various parties in one political document and to restore the civil democratic path by opening the way for naming a new prime minister based on broad consultations.


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