Sunday, February 5, 2023

UN chief Guterres calls for peace ahead of Sudan talks

A military coup in October 2021, led to the suspension of a power-sharing arrangement between civilian representatives and senior officers.

• June 6, 2022
António Guterres
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (Photo Credit: Twitter)

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has called for military authorities in Sudan and civilian representatives and political leaders to enter direct talks over the future of the country in “good faith”, following continued unrest.

A military coup in October 2021, led to the suspension of a power-sharing arrangement between civilian representatives and senior officers, which had been established since the overthrow of former ruler, Omar al-Bashir, in 2019.

Political protests took place in several parts of the capital on Monday, according to news reports, which met with a heavy response from security forces, including the use of tear gas.

Since the coup, a violent crackdown has seen nearly 100 civilians killed, according to UN figures.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, Mr Guterres welcomed the efforts of the trilateral mechanism “to facilitate a solution”.

“As Sudanese stakeholders prepare to engage in direct talks, he encourages them to participate in good faith and to continue to work towards establishing a conducive environment for a constructive dialogue in the interest of the Sudanese people.

“The secretary-general condemns all calls for violence and reiterates the importance of a peaceful atmosphere for the talks to be successful.

“He is also concerned about attempts to undermine the efforts of the trilateral mechanism and its envoys,” the statement stated.

Mr Guterres stressed that “all forms of hate speech represent an attack on tolerance, undermine social cohesion and can lay the foundation for violence, setting back the cause of peace.”

He reaffirmed his strong support for the work of the UN assistance mission, UNITAMS, “as it continues to support the Sudanese aspirations for democracy, peace and prosperity.”

Adama Dieng, the UN Designated Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan, said in a statement that he was shocked by the killing of a young man in a protest on Friday, reportedly shot in the chest by security forces.

“There can be no justification for firing live ammunition at unarmed protestors…This is a tragedy – each of these deaths is a tragedy for Sudan – another young man whose family are in mourning today.

“His killing must be investigated immediately, and the perpetrator prosecuted,” the expert said.

Mr Dieng encouraged all Sudanese to contribute to efforts towards a political settlement and resumption of the important legal and institutional reforms started by the transitional government.

(NAN)

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