UN Mission launches political transition talks in Sudan

Saturday January 08 2022
Sudanese anti-coup protesters.

Sudanese anti-coup protesters. The United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission to Sudan (UNITAMS) has announced the launch of a reform programme to support the country’s journey to become a full democracy. FILE PHOTO | COURTESY


A UN Mission on Saturday announced the official launch of a reform programme meant to sustain the country’s journey to be a full democracy.

The programme aims at supporting Sudanese stakeholders to reach an agreement, emerge from the current political crisis and agree on a sustainable path of progress towards democracy and peace, said Volker Peretz, the head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission to Sudan (UNITAMS) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.

Transition process

The process, according to a statement issued by Mr Peretz on Saturday, will also include civil society groups as well as armed groups that have been protesting against the military’s imposition on the transition journey.  

“The transition has faced major setbacks that have deeply impacted the country since the military coup of 25 October,” the statement said, referring to last year when the military forcibly retook power and detained Hamdok and his Cabinet.

Read: Sudan army chief Abdel Burhan, PM Abdalla Hamdok sign power deal


Hamdok was released nearly a month later after agreeing to form a new government. He resigned last Sunday after failing to do so, following weeks of protests.

“The subsequent and repeated violence against largely peaceful demonstrators has only served to deepen the mistrust among all political parties in Sudan,” Mr Peretz added.

The official said he is worried 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.

“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,” Mr Peretz said.

Sudan crisis

UNITAMS was established by the Security Council Resolution 2524 (2020) in response to requests from the Sudanese leadership in February 2020 to support the democratic transition in Sudan.

Read: Sudan’s Abdallah Hamdok resigns as Prime Minister

But it has largely remained in the background as civilian groups battle with the military over power sharing.

“It is time to end the violence and enter into a constructive process. This process will be inclusive.

“UNITAMS counts on the full cooperation and engagement of all Sudanese stakeholders to contribute to its success,” the statement added.

The UN Security Council is also scheduled to hold an informal meeting on Wednesday next week to discuss the latest developments in Sudan.

Read: UN Security Council to meet over Sudan unrest

On Friday, the head of the Transitional Sovereign Council in Sudan, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, received a phone call from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in which he affirmed the commitment of the international organisation to support the country during the transition period until it holds elections.

The Sudanese crisis erupted in the wake of the October 25 coup, and fuelled protests in which 60 people have been killed so far.

The situation deteriorated further after Hamdok resigned last weekend.

Read: Sudan’s donors warn against appointing new PM without civilian nod

The Sovereign Council announced its quest to appoint a new prime minister to form a government with “specific tasks”, but the United States, European Union and other donors stressed that they would not recognise any premier appointed without political consensus.