1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
An anti-coup protester in Khartoum holding up a Sudanese flag
Popular protests calling for the return of civilian rule have continued despite a violent crackdown by security forcesImage: Mahmoud Hjaj/AA/picture alliance

Sudan: Major protest group spurns UN representative

February 4, 2022

A major Sudanese protest group has refused to meet with the UN's local representative. The group accuses the UN mission of siding with the military following last year's coup.


One of the groups that played a key role in bringing down Sudan's dictator in 2019 said on Friday that it refuses to meet with the UN's special representative to the country, Volker Perthes.

The Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA) wrote in a statement shared on social media that the UN Integrated Transition Administration Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) — the body Perthes runs — had failed to condemn the military coup in October.

The group accuses UNITAMS of siding with the military, which is responsible for the violent crackdown against anti-coup protesters that has left almost 80 civilians dead. The group rejected a similar offer from the UN in early January.

"Your mission has failed to explicitly condemn the coup," the group said in a statement. "All your mission's moves implied a recognition of the coup authorities."

Sudan: Pro-democracy protesters defy post-coup crackdown

How did the UN mission respond?

UNITAMS said in a statement to Reuters news agency that it continued to meet with other stakeholders to "engage in the UN-facilitated consultation process."

"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," the UN mission added.

The military had been sharing power with civilian groups since a popular uprising in 2019 ousted President Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government. Following the coup, many civilian groups have refused to continue talks with the military.

The UN has been pushing for a negotiated solution in recent weeks through consultations between various stakeholders.

No trust left in the military

The October coup removed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok from power. He had been the civilian face of the transitional government for two years.

The military reinstated him after significant international pressure, but he stepped down on January 2 following continued protests and an apparent lack of compromise from the military.

Sudan: The brief dream of democracy

The SPA, like many other popular protest groups, has no confidence in the military and refuses to include them in any possible transition. The group demanded that the military remove itself from politics and make way for a fully civilian government.

This is also the reason for their rejection of the UN mission, which has placed greater emphasis on including opposing stakeholders.

"By including the coup perpetrators, your consultations contradict the aspirations of the Sudanese people in a flagrant way," the SPA said.

ab/sms (AP, Reuters)

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, turned to his side, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, fully clear, in this picture

Russia to store tactical nuclear arms in Belarus

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage