Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

UN: Sudanese Must Engage in Dialogue to End Crisis

UN: Sudanese Must Engage in Dialogue to End Crisis

Wednesday, 25 May, 2022 - 06:45
Volker Perthes, Special Representative for Sudan and Head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), briefs Security Council members on Sudan and South Sudan. (UN)

All Sudanese parties must find a conducive environment to facilitate intra-Sudanese talks as time is short for Khartoum to reach a solution to its protracted political crisis, the UN special envoy for Sudan.

Volker Perthes told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the number of Sudanese facing acute hunger is projected to double to 18 million by September.

He said that since he last briefed the Council in March, some positive steps have been taken to create this conducive environment, particularly when authorities released at least 86 detainees.

However, Perthes stressed that at least 111 people reportedly remain in detention in Khartoum, Port Sudan and elsewhere. He also noted that on May 21, another protestor was killed by security forces, bringing the number of those reportedly killed to 96.

“If the authorities want to build trust, it is essential that those responsible for violence against protesters be held to account,” the envoy urged.

Moreover, he said a growing number of Sudanese parties and eminent national figures have come forward with initiatives to resolve the political crisis, while several political coalitions have formed new alliances around common positions.

“There is also growing recognition of the need for civilian-military dialogue on a way out of the crisis and there is more public debate around this issue,” Perthes added.

He noted that envoys of the trilateral mechanism facilitating intra-Sudan talks – the United Nations, the African Union and regional body, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – have stressed that it is up to the Sudanese, particularly the authorities, to create an environment conducive to the success of any negotiations.

On the economy, Perthes said the political stalemate continues to exact a heavy socio-economic toll in Sudan.

“The combined effects of political instability, economic crisis, poor harvests and global supply shocks are having a disastrous impact on inflation and on the affordability of food,” he warned.

Furthermore, the envoy cautioned that the risk of a new outbreak of violence remains high, adding that physical protection must be a priority for the Sudanese authorities and for the governments in Darfur.

In a related development, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres urged Sudan’s national authorities and signatory armed movements to fulfill their commitments under the Juba Peace Agreement and expedite the implementation of the transitional security arrangements.

He expressed deep concerns over the escalating violence in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, saying it has resulted in a growing number of fatalities and significant new forced displacement.

Editor Picks