The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sudan, Volker Perthes, said that the Sudanese army’s announcement of withdrawal from politics is “an opportunity that needs to be grasped.”
Perthes began new moves to revive the political process halted after the army withdrew from the dialogue with the civilian forces in early July.
He said in a statement, which Asharq Al-Awsat received a copy of, that civilians must accept the challenge and form a civilian government.
Perthes said that the Trilateral Mechanism would continue to provide unlimited support to all Sudanese efforts to overcome the deadlock and find a way out of the crisis.
“We will continue to provide technical assistance and provide a space where divergent views by different parties can be bridged when needed.”
The UN official warned that “Time is not on Sudan’s side. The continuation of the political impasse will lead to more losses of recent national gains.”
“We call on all major forces, political parties, and grassroots movements, including the Resistance Committees, to open communication channels with one another and to think through their ideas and proposals,” he said.
Perthes noted that broad participation in the political process is something that the Sudanese political forces can achieve by ensuring the broadest possible consultations with the actors and stakeholders close to them.
In his statement, the UN envoy referred to Lieutenant General Abdelfattah al-Burhan’s announcement on 4 July, which Lt-Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo later confirmed.
He said it positively indicated that the military was prepared to accept the leadership of a civilian-led government to oversee a democratic transition.
“This presented a challenge for the civilian forces, which we have encouraged them to accept. The withdrawal of the military from politics and the return to civilian government has been a key demand of the street and most political parties and civilian political forces.”
According to Perthes, there are now several political initiatives that propose solutions.
“We have mentioned more than once that full Sudanese ownership of the political process is the cornerstone for its success.”
He warned that progress under the current situation in the debt relief process, which amounts to $56 billion, would be impossible.
The political process to resolve the Sudanese crisis, led by the Trilateral Mechanism of the United Nations, the African Union, and the African Intergovernmental Organization (IGAD), froze ahead of Eid al-Adha.
Differences emerged after the army announced its withdrawal from the political process, saying it aimed to allow the political forces to form a civilian government of independent figures.