UN begins talks in Sudan to resolve post-coup crisis

The United Nations on Monday said it had begun talks in Sudan to save the move towards democracy after a military coup.

UN special rapporteur Volker Perthes told reporters that officials contacted political parties to find a way to move forward, and the military did not challenge the initiative.

“We want to act quickly,” Mr Perthes said while expressing optimism that the talks will be like confidence-building measures that will help reduce violence.

According to Mr Perthes, the UN will begin by approaching the groups individually, hoping to move to the second phase of direct or indirect negotiations.

“We will have different stakeholders talking to each other every day,” he added.

In a statement late Monday, the military-led Sovereign Council welcomed the initiative and called for the participation of the African Union.

Mr Perthes explained that only Mr Bashir’s former ruling party and the Sudanese Communist Party rejected the initiative altogether.

He pointed out that it would be difficult to set a time frame to finish and start negotiations, and if an additional week or two is needed, no strict deadline will be imposed.

Unless a new path for transition and a path to credible elections are found, Sudan’s economic plight can worsen and instability can spread inside and outside the border, analysts and diplomats say.

Mr Perthes told Reuters that he would find a way to take advantage of offers from international players such as the United States and Saudi Arabia, which are major donors.

The UN plan currently represents the only substantive effort to resolve the political crisis.


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