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‘Friends of Sudan’ Conference in Riyadh Backs Political Process

‘Friends of Sudan’ Conference in Riyadh Backs Political Process

Wednesday, 19 January, 2022 - 05:45
Sudanese block the road with the start of a general strike and partial civil disobedience in Khartoum. (Reuters)

The Friends of Sudan group convened in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Tuesday to show support for the political process in the North-East African country.

Khartoum and other Sudanese cities, meanwhile, witnessed sweeping protests against the killing of seven demonstrators by security forces.

Representatives from Western and Gulf Arab countries met in Riyadh to discuss joint efforts to support the stability and prosperity of Sudan.

The Friends of Sudan, including officials from the United Arab Emirates, US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, UN, African Union, Arab League, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, held their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh.

The gatherers discussed ways to strengthen cooperation to support all efforts that ensure a peaceful political transition in Sudan.

They also discussed ways to further assist and support the efforts of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

Meanwhile, a partial civil riot, called for by political forces, resistance committees, and professional union entities, was launched in protest of the killing of seven demonstrators by the security forces.

Security forces shot and killed seven protesters Monday during rallies against last year’s military coup, medics said.

Many shops in the center of the capital closed their doors, and work stopped in many public institutions and state facilities. Work in most Sudanese universities and banks came to a complete halt due to the strike.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Tuesday said Sudan’s military rulers have shown an unwillingness to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the country’s ongoing crisis, a day after security forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the capital, Khartoum.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said repeated calls for Sudanese authorities to refrain from violence against protesters “have fallen on deaf ears.”

Borrell said the ongoing crackdown, including violence against civilians and the detention of activists and journalists, has put Sudan on “a dangerous path away from peace and stability.”

He urged the military authorities to de-escalate tensions, saying that “avoiding further loss of life is of the essence.”

The crackdown, Borrell said, also risks derailing UN efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis that has worsened with the resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok earlier this month.

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