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UNITAMS head: UN will facilitate talks but ‘political solutions are up to Sudanese’

January 11 - 2022 KHARTOUM
Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan and head of UNITAMS, Volker Perthes, addresses the press in Khartoum yesterday (Photo: UNITAMS)
Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan and head of UNITAMS, Volker Perthes, addresses the press in Khartoum yesterday (Photo: UNITAMS)

Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan and head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, has announced the start of talks on the political transition in Sudan, in order to reach an agreement to end the current political crisis following the military coup d’état of October 25, and agree on a sustainable path of progress towards democracy and peace. As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, the initiative has received mixed reactions from various political forces in Sudan.

At a press conference held yesterday at the headquarters of the UNITAMS mission in Khartoum, Perthes said that the United Nations will present a process, rather than a draft, project, or vision for a solution in Sudan. He stressed that, contrary to what was reported in media reports (which he did not name), “the UN mission did not and will not present a project or proposal to the Sudanese to resolve the crisis,” stressing that “the role of the UN mission is limited only to facilitating the process of dialogue and accompanying the Sudanese people with its various components to get out of this crisis”.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan and head of UNITAMS,
Volker Perthes, addresses the press in Khartoum yesterday (Video: UNITAMS)

Perthes stressed that the United Nations will not proffer any draft and will not adopt any project because it is up to the Sudanese to be the first to do so, and that “the time has come to enter into a comprehensive consultative process to resolve the crisis in Sudan”.

The UN envoy stressed that Sudanese parties need support from the countries of the world, and that the United Nations will work to facilitate this current stage in the country’s history. In this regard, the envoy asked all the parties invited to the dialogue to present their vision for the transitional phase, indicating that participants should determine the priorities.

He added, “We have heard the Sudanese call for democratic rule, and we affirm our commitment to that, and we expect the friends of Sudan to provide political support to get out of the current crisis. The UN envoy also called for an immediate halt to the use of excessive violence against the demonstrators, and an investigation into this. He said that the time has come to enter into a comprehensive dialogue and stop the excessive violence, noting that there are continuing casualties.

In addition, Perthes said that the country’s military establishment does not object to the mission’s initiative to announce talks on the political transition in Sudan. He said that the Sudanese consultations need the support of the countries of the world, noting that he will give a new briefing to the Security Council and at the Friends of Sudan meeting next week, expecting that this will give effective political support to the initiative, and he made it clear that the initiative has so far found acceptance and blessing from all Sudanese parties. He said that if the initiative goes as planned, it will first agree on some points and then move on to other points in order to provide aid to Sudan, calling on all Sudanese parties to agree and sit down to solve the crisis, especially the resistance committees, some of whom expressed their disapproval of sitting with the military part.

Perthes said he expects that the initiative will lead to building confidence between the Sudanese parties and reducing violence.

Mixed reactions

The initiative has received mixed reactions from various political forces in the country. In the most recent of these, the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement, under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur, said that the United Nations initiative for a solution in Sudan would lead to a new failure, and stressed that any dialogue with the military meant to legitimize the ongoing coup.

El Nur told Radio Dabanga that the mandate of UNITAMS is based on the October 2020 Constitutional Document that the military component has overthrown, adding that the Juba Peace Agreement has become the cause of a new crisis in Sudan and the Sudanese crisis had further complicated. priority

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) welcomed, in principle, the initiative of UNITAMS, to launch preliminary consultations between all Sudanese parties to establish sustainable solutions to all the problems and crises of the country. The DBA added in a statement that, while welcoming the UN declaration, given that the United Nations is an independent umbrella and Sudan is a member of it, the DBA renews its firm position that the proper approach to founding lies in the immediate procedural restoration of Sudan’s suspended constitution on June 30, 1989.

The Darfur lawyers will convey to the UN representative its position in principle with approval of the declared UN initiative, provided that dialogue begins between the Sudanese forces and parties without regard to the documents that resulted from the partnership between the military component and the forces of freedom and change, including that flawed constitutional document and the agreements concluded under it. While retaining any party the right to present its arguments in the dialogue.

The DBA advised the United Nations to organise workshops to rehabilitate and raise the capabilities of the leaders of the resistance committees, similar to the rehabilitation and capacity-raising workshops organized by the international partners of the former Sudanese negotiating parties.


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