On Monday, the UN mission in Sudan announced that it began consultations in Sudan with the goal of opening direct negotiations to resolve the country’s political situation following the October 2021 coup.
UN special representative Volker Perthes told a news conference in Khartoum on Monday that the initial meetings will include wide individual consultations with the goal of proceeding to a second round of direct or indirect negotiations between different actors.
“We need to get moving rapidly… The first delegation from civic society will arrive this afternoon. Every day, we’ll talk to a different set of stakeholders,” he said. Setting a deadline for initiating negotiations would be difficult, Perthes added. “We all know how valuable time is. The situation in Sudan, as well as our own, is under a lot of stress.”
Sudan’s economic condition might deteriorate and instability could spread inside and without its borders unless a fresh course for the transition and a road to genuine elections is found, economists and diplomats believe.
In this context, “I’m hoping that these consultations can serve as a confidence-building measure and, at the very least, assist to prevent violence,” Perthes expressed.
The military institutions have expressed “no objection,” according to the UN ambassador. However, significant citizen groupings’ first reaction was lukewarm.
“We have yet to get any details concerning the UN effort,” said Jaafar Hassan, a spokesperson for the Forces for Freedom and Change.
“We are happy to participate in the negotiations if the goal is to restore the democratic transition and remove the coup regime,” he told on Monday. “But we are against it if the goal is to legitimize the coup government.”
Another important civilian faction, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), declared on Sunday that the UN-mediated negotiations were utterly unacceptable.