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SPA rejects UN mediation efforts in Sudanese transition

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an activist alliance in the anti-Omar al-Bashir rallies, rejected UN-mediated discussions to resolve the country's political crisis on Sunday.

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The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an activist alliance in the anti-Omar al-Bashir rallies, rejected UN-mediated discussions to resolve the country’s political crisis on Sunday.

The United Nations has announced that it will hold discussions in Sudan to try to save a fragile democratic transition that has been paralyzed since an October coup and the resignation of the prime minister last week. However, the SPA said in a statement, “We unequivocally reject this proposal, which aims to normalize relations with the military council and its authority.”

The UN mission in Sudan opened an intra-Sudanese political process on Saturday in an effort to save Sudan’s democratic transition.

The “process will be inclusive,” according to Volker Perthes, the leader of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

It stated that the “total toppling of the military council and the bringing of its members to justice” is the first step toward resolving Sudan’s political issue.

Meanwhile, the UN Envoy for Sudan, Volker Perthes, expressed in a statement on Saturday that the UN-mediated political process in Sudan would seek a “sustainable route ahead towards democracy and peace.” It wasn’t immediately apparent when the talks will start.

“It is time to end the violence and enter into a constructive process. This process will be inclusive,” he said. Perthes stated that important stakeholders in Sudan, such as the military, rebel groups, political parties, and protest movements, as well as civil society and women’s groups, will be invited to participate in the process.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States all expressed support for the UN initiative. “We strongly support this UN-facilitated, Sudanese-led dialogue initiative,” a group statement said. “We urge all Sudanese political actors to seize this opportunity to restore the country’s transition to civilian democracy.”

The Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), Sudan’s major civilian opposition coalition, stated in a statement that it supported “any international effort that contributes to the achievement of the Sudanese people’s aims in opposing the coup and restoring a civil and democratic state.”

Sudan has been in upheaval since the military deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency on October 25. Sudan was administered by a sovereign council of military and civilian authorities prior to the military takeover, which was tasked with supervising the transition phase until elections in 2023.

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