UN Begs Sudanese Military to Show Restraint as Protests Intensify

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has urged the military to be restrained and not create more victims during the mass civil protests planned for Saturday in Sudan.

The United Nations secretary-general made the appeal on Friday during a press conference in Rome before the weekend’s G20 Summit.

He noted that people should be allowed to demonstrate peacefully.

Guterres reaffirmed his “strong condemnation of the coup,” which saw civilian leaders detained, stressing “the need to reestablish the transition system that was in place.”

Since the army dissolved the transitional government and detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his cabinet in the capital Khartoum on Monday, pro-democracy protests have taken place across the country.

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There have been at least 11 deaths reported by news agencies. Reports suggest Hamdok may be willing to negotiate the formation of a new government if the military reverses its power grab and releases detainees.

Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country, emphasized everyone’s right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in light of Saturday’s planned protests.

“I reiterate my call for the military and security forces to respect the rights of the protestors, to show restraint, and to refrain from excessive use of force,” he said in a statement.

It is imperative that those coming out to demonstrate do so peacefully, continuing, as in the past, to uphold the spirit of silmiye, the Arabic word for a peaceful demonstration.

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Perthes, who is also head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), reiterated the need for constructive and inclusive dialogue among all stakeholders to get the transition back on track.

“UNITAMS remains ready to offer its good offices in this regard,” he said.

Long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in April by the military after months of protests.

As a result of a power-sharing agreement, a transitional government comprising both military and civilian leadership was set up. Full democratic elections were scheduled for 2023.

Additionally, the country is experiencing a humanitarian crisis.

Humanitarians have requested 1.9 billion dollars for Sudan this year, but the appeal has only been funded 30 percent.

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From January to June, aid agencies provided protection and humanitarian assistance to 7.4 million people across the country.  


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