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Hundreds in Sudan call for dismissal of UN mission

A woman chants slogans as people gather for a protest outside the UN mission in Sudan's capital Khartoum. — AFP
A woman chants slogans as people gather for a protest outside the UN mission in Sudan's capital Khartoum. — AFP

KHARTOUM: Hundreds of Sudanese protesters including supporters of groups rallied on Wednesday in front of the United Nations mission in Khartoum to call for its dismissal, correspondents said. The protests were endorsed by groups that have criticised efforts by UN envoy Volker Perthes to resolve the political crisis in Sudan since last year's military coup.

The rallies came as the UN Security Council mulled over extending the mission's mandate beyond June 3.

"Volker, you German, the crisis will be solved by the Sudanese'', protesters chanted outside the headquarters of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan, or UNITAMS, in Khartoum.

Others called on Perthes to "leave". On Tuesday, Mohamed Ali al Gizouli accused Perthes of "interfering" in Sudan's internal affairs during a seminar titled "the negative impact of the UN mission on the launch of Sudanese dialogue".

Last month, Perthes said the political stalemate was "impacting the security situation" and "continues to exact a heavy socio-economic toll" in Sudan.

Sudan has been rocked by deepening unrest since an October 25 coup staged by army chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan, which sparked regular anti-coup protests across much of the country. The power grab derailed a fragile power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians negotiated after the 2019 ouster of Omar al Bashir.

A violent crackdown on the anti-coup protests has left nearly 100 people killed, according to pro-democracy medics.

In April, Burhan threatened to expel Perthes over alleged "interference" in the country's affairs.

Perthes had earlier told the UN Security Council that Sudan was heading towards "an economic and security collapse" unless its civilian-led transition was restored.

The UN mission, along with the African Union and regional bloc IGAD, have been pushing to facilitate Sudanese-led talks to resolve the crisis.

Western governments have backed the UN-AU-IGAD bid and urged Sudanese factions to participate in the process.

On Sunday, Burhan lifted the state of emergency imposed since the coup to set the stage for "meaningful dialogue that achieves stability for the transitional period".

The decision came after a meeting with senior military officials that also recommended that people detained under an emergency law be freed. The UN mission welcomed Burhan's decision, urging Sudanese authorities to "complete the release of detainees". Sudanese authorities have since April released a number of anti-coup civilian leaders and pro-democracy activists arrested in the crackdown.


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