World, Middle East

UN Security Council to meet Tuesday on Sudan following Coup

Volker Perthes to stress importance of council maintaining unity on Sudan amid tumult in east African nation

Michael Hernandez   | 25.10.2021
UN Security Council to meet Tuesday on Sudan following Coup

WASHINGTON

The UN Security Council will meet this week in the aftermath of a coup that has unseated Sudan's transitional government, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' special envoy announced on Monday.

Volker Perthes, the envoy who also serves as the UN's head for Sudan's democratic transition, said he will brief the council during Tuesday's session after the military seized power and jailed politicians and top officials, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

He stressed the importance of the council maintaining the unanimity on Sudan seen over the course of the past two years "in contrast to divisions which we have seen in any other countries in the region."

"If that unity is maintained I think it does indeed help, because the actors here to do take international opinion here quite seriously, in particular statements from the Security Council," he told reporters in New York while briefing them virtually from Khartoum, Sudan's capital.

At least three protesters were killed and 80 others injured on Monday by military gunfire in front of the Sudanese army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, a doctors committee said.

Protests took place in response to the military’s arrest of Hamdok and members of the civilian government in Khartoum earlier on Monday. According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, security forces fired live bullets at the demonstrators.

Also Monday, Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling military council, declared a state of emergency and dissolved the Sovereign Council, which was created to run the country after the ouster of long-time President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Perthes said he met with military officials on Sunday afternoon, and they indicated during that meeting that while they were open to dialogue they were prepared to seize power by force.

"I strongly warned against doing this," he said.

Phone lines and the internet have been severed in Khartoum with barricades still burning along roadways, Perthes said, noting he can "can hear occasional gunshots" as he warned of the prospect of increased violence following sunset.

"Of course there is a risk that there would be more violence or more clashes when night falls, and there would be very, very little means for us to have any influence on that aside from," Perthes said, "statements to exercise restraint."

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