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Sudanese rally against UN bid to resolve post-coup crisis

By AFP
Sudan Sudanese pro-military protesters chant slogans as they demonstrate against a UN bid to resolve a political crisis.  By - AFP
JAN 26, 2022 LISTEN
Sudanese pro-military protesters chant slogans as they demonstrate against a UN bid to resolve a political crisis. By - (AFP)

Thousands of Sudanese pro-military protesters rallied Wednesday against a UN bid to resolve a political crisis in the country three months after a coup, an AFP correspondent reported.

The demonstrators gathered outside the Khartoum office of the UN Transition Assistance Mission Sudan, or UNITAMS, which had launched talks with Sudanese factions this month.

They held up banners that read "Down, down UN" and others urging UN special representative Volker Perthes to "Go back home".

"We don't want external intervention in our country," protester Hamed al-Bashir told AFP outside the UN office.

On January 10, Perthes said the consultations aimed "to support the Sudanese to reach an agreement on a way out of the current crisis".

But he also noted that "the UN is not coming up with any project, draft or vision for a solution".

Sudan has been rocked by deadly protests calling for civilian rule since an October 25 military coup led by general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The military takeover derailed a power-sharing transition between the military and civilians that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

The ruling Sovereign Council -- formed by Burhan after the coup with himself as chairman -- has welcomed the UN-led dialogue, as have the United States, Britain, neighbouring Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The Forces for Freedom and Change, Sudan's main civilian bloc, has also said it would join consultations "to restore the democratic transition".

"Our role at this stage of consultations for a political process for #Sudan is to hear Sudanese stakeholders; ensure we actively listen to their views, document their visions & suggestions," Stephanie Khoury, UNITAMS director of political affairs office, said Wednesday on Twitter.

On Wednesday, an 18-year-old protester died after suffering from bullet wound to the head during protests last month, according to Central Committee of Sudan Doctors.

His death brought the number of people killed in the crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations to 77, it said.

Sudan's authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition against demonstrators, and insist scores of security personnel have been wounded during the protests.

A police general was stabbed to death during the unrest this month.

Meanwhile, shops and stores were largely shuttered and streets were empty in the city of Wad Madani, south of Khartoum, according to witnesses.

Sport clubs in the city had also suspended all activists until further notice "in tribute to the martyrs killed".

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