UNITAMS: ‘Inspiring visions’ during consultation on Sudan’s political process
The first stage of UN-facilitated consultations for a political process in Sudan, hosted by the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), has concluded “with inspiring visions of Sudanese stakeholders on the way forward”, the Mission says.
In a statement after the conclusion of the first round of consultations, which are 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, the Mission says that a full month of almost daily sessions with a diverse range of groups including civil society, women’s rights organisations, resistance committees, political parties, young women activists, academics, journalists, youth, persons with disabilities, veterans, diaspora, JPA signatories, and national experts, marks the end of first stage of consultations launched by UNITAMS on January 8.
During its last week, consultations brought Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) for Sudan, Volker Perthes, and the UNITAMS team together with more than 35 groups, the Mission says. “These include the Unified Doctors Office, Forces of Freedom and Change, Sudan Liberation Movement, Sudanese Alliance, Sudan Liberation Movement 2, women’s groups from the northern, central and eastern states, the Sudanese Bar Association, Sudan National Alliance, the Republican Party, the Attorney General, the Sudan Revolutionary Front, the Sudanese diaspora, Members of the Union of People with Speech-Hearing Disabilities, Forces of Freedom and Change (National Charter), the Chief Justice, young women activists, Alliance of Independent Revolution Committees, representatives of civil society organizations from East Sudan, the Sudanese Professionals Association, the Alliance of Civil Forces in Central States, the National Reform Party, a women’s group and resistance committees from Blue Nile State, Forces of Freedom and Change (National Forces), a group of Sufi Sheikhs and members of the General Sufi Complex, representatives of the High National Association of Nomads and Herders in Darfur, the Darfur Region Administration for IDPs & Refugees, and Youth Volunteers Supporting Peace and Recovery in Darfur.”
SRSG Volker Perthes: “The consultations process has been valuable in allowing us to hear a range of perspectives and proposals from the Sudanese people to overcome the current political crisis. We were grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm of scores of representatives of groups from across Sudan who came to meet us, engaged constructively and shared their concrete ideas.”
At the start of the talks, Perthes said: “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”.
At the conclusion of this first stage of the initiative, UNITAMS intends to produce a summary document which it will highlight major areas of consensus among various Sudanese stakeholders on contentious matters pertaining to the transition.
As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, the initiative has received mixed reactions from various political forces in Sudan. 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, 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 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”.
The Central Command Council of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) has decided “to deal positively” with the UNITAMS initiative to facilitate a Sudanese dialogue between the military and the various opposition forces in order to reach an agreement to end the current political crisis and agree on a sustainable path of progress towards democracy.
In its vision paper, handed to the representatives of UNITAMS in January, the FFC said that “ending the military rule is the only way out”.
An “entirely civilian government based on a new constitutional charter” is to lead the country “to free, fair and internationally monitored elections at the end of the transitional period”. After handing power to a civilian government, the various military and paramilitary forces in the country are to merge “into one professional national army”.
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