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A Democratic Transition Needed in Sudan

Volker Perthes, UN Special Representative to Sudan and head of UNITMAS, and Mohamed El-Hassan Ould Labbat, special envoy of the African Union Commission in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on June 8, 2022.

The United States fully supports the Tripartite Mechanism’s efforts to facilitate a Sudanese-led process to transition to a fully civilian-led democracy.

A Democratic Transition Needed in Sudan
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The effects of political instability, economic crisis, poor harvests and global supply shocks are having a disastrous effect on Sudan. So said Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNITAMS, a United Nations Mission to assist Sudan’s transition to democratic governance, support peace and protect human rights.

A military take-over in October 2021 stopped Sudan’s promising progress toward democracy and economic reforms. Massive protests soon followed, as did international pressure on the military to respect human rights and move towards a civilian-led democratic transition. Foreign investment and international trade have been negatively affected, and debt relief and credit from transnational organizations, have been paused. Sudan’s already wobbly economy is feeling the impact of the takeover.

In an effort to facilitate negotiations between Sudan’s military government and Sudan’s many political groups and factions, UNITAMS, the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, formed a Tripartite Mechanism. Its goal is to facilitate inclusive, Sudanese-led talks to find a way to restore a civilian led democratic transition that is acceptable to its people.

The United States fully supports the Tripartite Mechanism’s efforts to facilitate a Sudanese-led process to transition to a fully civilian-led democracy, said Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Richard Mills.

“We strongly encourage the Sudanese people – civilians and military personnel alike – to use this process to make rapid progress on the framework for a civilian-led transitional government.”

“We must make sure that women, youth, and members of other marginalized groups enjoy full, effective, and meaningful participation and inclusion throughout every stage of the process. That is the hallmark of a true democracy,” Ambassador Mills said.

“The transfer of power to a civilian-led government will enable the resumption of international financial support and development assistance – support that is desperately needed. To make sure that progress happens, and that the people of Sudan are well-served, we are prepared to levy consequences on those who impede or otherwise spoil Sudan’s transition to democracy.”

“While progress is made toward the election of a civilian-led government, … the United States will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people and support for civil society,” said Ambassador Mills.

“We stand with the Sudanese people in their pursuit of a democratic, human rights-respecting, and prosperous Sudan. We will continue to add our voice to bolster theirs and take action to help them create a peaceful, democratic Sudan.”