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Volker’s Initiative: Will It Pay Off?

Al-Sammani Awadallah

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of UNITAMS, Mr. Volker Perthes, in consultation with Sudanese and international partners, is formally launching a UN-facilitated intra-Sudanese political process which is aimed at supporting Sudanese stakeholders in agreeing on a way out of the current political crisis and agree on a sustainable path forward towards democracy and peace.

It is worth noting that the UNITAMS was established by the UNSC Resolution 2524 (2020) in response to requests from the Sudanese leadership in February 2020 to support the democratic transition in Sudan. The transition has faced major setbacks that have deeply impacted the country since the military coup of 25 October.

The subsequent and repeated violence against largely peaceful demonstrators has only served to deepen the mistrust among all political parties in Sudan.

Volker expressed disappointment 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.

It is time to end the violence and enter into a constructive process. This process will be inclusive. All key civilian and military stakeholders, including armed movements, political parties, civil society, women’s groups, and resistance committees will be invited to participate in the UN-facilitated political process. Women played a central role in the revolution and the transition. Their full, meaningful, and equal participation going forward will be critical, UNAITAMS counts on the full cooperation and engagement of all Sudanese stakeholders to contribute to its success.

The statement concludes that the UN remains committed to supporting the realization of the aspirations of the Sudanese people for freedom, peace, and justice.

Local and International Welcoming

Several countries announced their welcoming to the initiative considering it the only way out for the Sudanese crisis.

The USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the UK welcomed the declaration. A statement published on the official website of the US Department of State reads (We strongly the Sudanese dialogue initiative which the US is facilitating)

The signatories of the statement urged all the Sudanese parties to benefit from this chance to return to the track of transition t0wards the civilian democracy which copes with the constitutional declaration of 2019.

“We aspire that this process leads the country towards democratic elections to achieve the aspiration of the Sudanese people towards freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity) the statement concluded.

Internally the Transitional Sovereign Council issued a statement welcoming the initiative. 

On the other hand, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) announced its readiness to study the initiative.

The FFC said that it did not receive up to this moment any details over the initiative, affirming that as soon it receives officially the initiative will be subject to discussion before announcing its stance to the public.

The FFC  affirmed that it will deal positively with any international effort that assists in achieving the aspirations of the Sudanese people in resisting the coup and establishing a civilian democratic state.

The FFC affirmed that it will not detract from its announced stance over the continuation of peaceful public activities to defeat the coup and establish a civil rule that leads the free and fair elections by the end of the transitional period.

Political Process:

The UN mediation succeeded in the weeks that followed the coup to bring Dr. Hamdok back to his position as prime minister before he tendered his recent resignation, but this time the mediation comes in a more complicated political deadlock.

SPA Rejection:

The spokesperson of the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), which lead the protests, affirmed their rejection to sit around one table with the coup generals.

He added that when they raised the slogan (No Negotiations, No Partnership, and No Legitimacy) they were serious.

Clear Stance:

Baath Party leading figure and member of the FFC, Adil Khalfallah said that his party’s stance is clear and they are never against national dialogue.

Communist Party Spokesperson, Fathi Al-Daw said that any foreign initiative is considered an intervention in the Sudanese internal affairs and will never succeed.

Success Subject to Partnership

Popular Congress party Secretary-General Mohamed Badr Addeen said that dialogue should be inclusive without exempting any party from the political process otherwise the initiative will fail.

Some of the resistance committees in Khartoum welcomed the initiative and affirmed that they are not against the military institution.

Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLA) led by Abdulwahid Nour announced its rejection of the initiative as its stance is clear that the movement is against the coup.

Abdulwahid said that the Sudanese have the solution because they know their crisis more than the UN and other international community institutions, pointing out the failure of all the foreign solutions.

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