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UN-facilitated talks aim to break Sudan political crisis

January 9 - 2022 KHARTOUM
Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Sudan (SRSG) and head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission In Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes (Photo: UN TV)
Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Sudan (SRSG) and head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission In Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes (Photo: UN TV)

The United Nations is to facilitate an ‘intra-Sudanese political process’, designed to regenerate Sudan’s democratic transition, amid the current political impasse following the military coup d’état of October 25, which has led to violent suppression of continued mass protests across the country, and resulted in the resignation of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok last week.

In a statement yesterday, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Sudan (SRSG) and head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission In Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, announced the launch of a UN-facilitated intra-Sudanese political process, in consultation with Sudanese and international partners, which is aimed 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.

Perthes says that since UNITAMS was established according to Security Council Resolution 2524 (2020) in response to requests from the Sudanese leadership to support the democratic transition in Sudan, “the transition has faced major setbacks that have deeply impacted the country since the military coup of 25 October”. Perthes notes that “the subsequent and repeated violence against largely peaceful demonstrators has only served to deepen the mistrust among all political parties in Sudan”. In the statement, Perthes says he is “deeply concerned that the current political impasse may slide the country further into instability and squander the important political, social and economic gains made since the Revolution”. He laments that “all measures taken to date have not succeeded in restoring the course of this transformation in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Sudanese people”.

‘The current political impasse may slide the country further into instability and squander the important political, social, and economic gains made since the Revolution’ – Volker Perthes

Perthes asserts that “it is time to end the violence and enter into a constructive process. This process will be inclusive. 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 political process. Women played a central role in the revolution and the transition. Their full, meaningful, and equal participation going forward will be critical. UNITAMS counts on the full cooperation and engagement of all Sudanese stakeholders to contribute to its success,” Perthes says, concluding that “the UN remains committed to supporting the realization of the aspirations of Sudanese people for freedom, peace and justice”.

The announcement has initially been welcomed abroad by the Arab League, but rejected at home by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been at the forefront of the revolution.

Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA)

In a statement today, the SPA rejected the UN initiative. “The solution is the transfer of the full power of the military council to the people… the UN initiative seeks to push toward normalisation with the criminals of the military coup council and their hegemony”.

According to the SPA the first step of the solution is to oust the military junta and to bring its members to justice for the massacres and killing of protestors since the coup. The only solution is full civilian government, the association says.

Arab League

The League of Arab States welcomed the UN initiative in a press statement on Saturday, expressing hopes that Sudan should retain the achievements realised so far by the Sudanese during the last two years. “It is of utmost importance to tackle all factors contributing to the political, social, and economic instability in the country,” the statement says.

The Arab League also expressed its willingness to cooperate with the UN to help reaching agreements that may realise the aspirations of the Sudanese people.


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