Sudan Urgently Needs a Government, Says United Nations Envoy

The United Nations envoy has spoken at length about the progress achieved in the broad consultation process in Khartoum. He also warned that there was in fact an urgent need for establishing a government to avoid an economic collapse and significant humanitarian crisis.

The Security Council of the United Nations on Tuesday learned about the steps forward made by its envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes. The special representative of the secretary general reported that the 800 or so participants in the UN-led broad consultation had found «visible» consensus on a great deal of issues. The main goals were to end all violence and to establish a technocratic government. Sudan has been without a functioning government since the October 25 coup d’état, which did away with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The months since the military coup have been marred by intermittent violence and strong citizen protests in favor of democracy. There has been little sign of a return to the transition process which had been due to end in November 2022. Observers have said that one of the main reasons why the military rulers booted out the civilian government was their concern about being prosecuted over their involvement in the killing of peaceful protesters during the revolution as well as about losing control over economic assets.

Creation of Single Professional Army

One of the points on which the participants of the dialogue had agreed upon was the creation of a single, professional army, the establishment of judicial entities, for the conditions of credible elections and an inclusive constitutional process. Also, the participants agreed that women should constitute at least 40 percent of the transitional institutions.

The leverage used by the international community to get the participants to take a step forward are mostly economic. Perthes told the Security Council that a lack of progress and establishment of a government would lead to far tougher consequences for Sudan, with billions of dollars of external support and payments by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other donors still frozen.

As a consequence of the outcome of the consultation process, Sudan will now embark on an intensive phase of talks, due to stark in coming weeks with a view to return to constitutional order and civilian-led government.

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