The United Nations has said that the decision by Sudan’s military authorities to end the state of emergency decreed after the October 2021 coup is “an important step” in paving the way for a process of dialogue to try to bring closure to the crisis in the African country.
“I can say that we applaud the withdrawal of the state of emergency in Sudan. It is an important step in creating the right environment for direct inter-Sudanese talks to end the political crisis in the country,” UN Secretary General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric assessed.
“We encourage the authorities to complete the release of political detainees. We continue to call on them to fully respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. We call on Sudanese actors to engage in constructive dialogue in good faith to find a way out of this crisis,” he said.
In this regard, he stressed that the trilateral mechanism created by the UN mission in Sudan, the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) “will continue to work collaboratively to help facilitate a Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led solution and find a way forward to end the political impasse in Sudan”.
The head of the Sudanese Army and chairman of the Sovereign Transitional Council, Abdelfatá al Burhan, said after the announcement of the withdrawal of the state of emergency that the aim was to create a suitable environment for a process of dialogue to resolve the crisis.
The coup d’état led to the dismissal of the civilian Prime Minister, Abdullah Hamdok, although international pressure led to an agreement to reinstate him in November, which caused him to lose support among the opposition and revolutionary forces. However, Hamdok resigned in January in protest against the repression of the demonstrations and after the military authorities expelled several civilian groups from the Executive, arguing that they were acting against the interests of the State.
Al Burhan assured in early February that he would only hand over power to an elected government or to an authority emerging from a “national consensus”, after unveiling in January the composition of an interim government following Hamdok’s resignation.
The transitional authorities were installed following an agreement between the previous military junta, which emerged after the 2019 coup d’état against Al Bashir, and various civilian organizations and opposition political formations. This government had initiated a battery of social and economic reforms and has reached a peace agreement with major rebel groups in Darfur and other areas of the country.