Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

The UN says army, rebel groups, political parties and protest movements will be invited to take part in the talks.

The United Nations has said it will hold talks in Sudan aimed at rescuing a fragile democratic transition amid a grinding stalemate following a coup in October and the prime minister’s resignation last week.

Volker Perthes, the UN envoy for Sudan, said in a statement on Saturday that the UN-facilitated political process would seek a “sustainable path forward to democracy and peace” in the country. It was not immediately clear when discussions would begin.

“It is time to end the violence and enter a constructive process. This process will be inclusive, ”he said.

Perthes said key players in Sudan, including the military, rebel groups, political parties and protest movements, would be invited to take part in the process, as well as civil society and women’s groups.

There were no immediate comments from the pro-democracy movement or the military on the UN statement.

The Arab League welcomed the move.

The October 25 coup dashed hopes of a peaceful transition to democracy in Sudan, more than two years after a popular uprising forced the military overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok resigned from his post on January 2, citing a failure to reach a compromise between the generals and the country’s pro-democracy movement. He was ousted in the coup, only to be reappointed a month later following an agreement with the military intended to calm tensions and anti-coup protests.

Hamdok’s resignation further plunged the country into political turmoil and ruthless street protests in which at least 60 people have been killed since the coup.

In announcing his resignation, Hamdok warned Sudan was at a “dangerous crossroads that threatened its survival”.

Perthes said repeated violence against protesters since the coup has deepened the distrust of the military among all political parties.

He warned that the deadlock could push the country into further instability and “squander important political, social and economic gains” since the uprising against al-Bashir.

The protest movement insists that a fully civilian government will lead the transition, a demand rejected by the generals who say that power will only be transferred to an elected government.

Elections are scheduled for July 2023, in accordance with a constitutional document governing the transition period.

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