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Sudanese protest group refuses to meet with UN delegate

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KHARTOUM: A faction that played a leading role in protests in the uprising that toppled Sudan’s former president Omar al Bashir in 2019 said it was refusing to meet Volker Perthes, the UN special representative to Sudan.

In a statement on Twitter, the Sudanese Professionals Association faction on Friday accused the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), which Perthes heads, of failing to condemn Sudan’s October 25 coup and siding with military leaders.

In recent weeks the United Nations has been holding consultations in an effort to help achieve a negotiated solution to Sudan’s political crisis.

“We continue to receive requests from a wide range of Sudanese stakeholders to meet with us and engage in the UN-facilitated consultations process,” UNITAMS said in a statement.

“UNITAMS launched this process to support a Sudanese-owned solution to the political deadlock after the 25th October coup which UN Secretary General (Antonio Guterres) has explicitly condemned.”

Security forces have cracked down on frequent mass protests against military rule since the coup, and at least 79 civilians have died, according to medics aligned with the protest movement.

Many civilian groups including the resistance committees that are the driving force behind the current protests have said they refuse to negotiate with the military. Before the coup the military had been sharing power with civilian groups under a transitional agreement struck following Bashir’s overthrow in 2019.

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