Sat. May 28th, 2022

Protesters in Khartoum are demanding the expulsion of the UN, which has begun talks to try to resolve Sudan’s political crisis.

Sudanese pro-military protesters took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, to protest against a UN trying to resolve a political crisis plagued by a spate of bloody protests since a military coup in October.

An AFP news agency reporter said thousands gathered on Wednesday outside the office of UNITAMS, the United Nations mission, which began talks with Sudanese factions this month.

They held up banners reading: “Down, down UN”, and others urging UN Special Representative Volker Perthes to “Go back home”.

“We do not want external intervention in our country,” protester Hamed al-Bashir told AFP outside the building.

On January 10, Perthes said the consultations aimed at “supporting the Sudanese to reach an agreement on a way out of the current crisis”. But he added that “the UN does not come up with any project, concept or vision for a solution.”

UNITAMS said on its Twitter account that the group of protesters was demanding the suspension of the mission.

“We defend freedom of assembly and expression and have offered to receive a delegation in our premises that they have refused,” it added on Twitter.

Sudanese pro-military protesters thunder slogans as they protest on January 26, 2022 against a UN attempt to resolve a political crisis outside the Khartoum office of the UN Transitional Assistance Mission Sudan in the Sudanese capital. An AFP reporter said thousands gathered on Wednesday outside the office of UNITAMS, the United Nations mission that began talks with Sudanese factions this month. [AFP]

Sudan has been in turmoil since military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power on October 25, crushing the country’s fragile transition to democracy. It put an end to a shaky power-sharing agreement between the military and civilian leaders that was negotiated following a popular uprising that ousted three-decade ruler Omar al-Bashir.

The Sovereign Council, formed by al-Burhan after the coup with itself as chairman, welcomed the UN-led dialogue, as did the United States, the United Kingdom, neighboring Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), Sudan’s main civilian bloc, also said it would join consultations “to restore the democratic transition”.

In a Wednesday news conference, FFC leader Omar al-Degeir called on the international community to stand by “the Sudanese people to meet its demands to reverse the coup”.

Stephanie Khoury, UNITAMS Director of Political Affairs, said earlier: “Our role at this stage of consultations for a political process for #Sudan is to hear Sudanese stakeholders; ensure that we actively listen to their views, document their visions and suggestions. ”

Sudanese pro-military protesters thunder slogans as they protest on January 26, 2022 against a UN attempt to resolve a political crisis outside the Khartoum office of the UN Transitional Assistance Mission Sudan in the Sudanese capital. UNITAMS said on its Twitter account that the group of protesters demanded the suspension of the mission [AFP]

Violent oppression

Since the military takeover, pro-democracy demonstrations have shown no sign of slowing down, despite brutal repression by security forces. So far, at least 77 people have been killed, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors – a group affiliated with the protests.

The latest victim was Ahmed Abdel Moneim, the medical association said on social media, who died on Wednesday after being shot in the head by security forces during a protest in the city of Omdurman last month.

Sudan’s authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition against protesters, insisting that dozens of security personnel were wounded during the protests.

A police general was apparently stabbed to death during the unrest this month.

In the city of Wad Madani, south of Khartoum, sports clubs said they had suspended all activities until further notice “in tribute to the martyrs killed ”. Shops and shops were also largely closed and streets were empty, according to witnesses.

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