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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Qatar welcomes latest UN initiative to resolve Sudan crisis

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The United Nations will launch new negotiations aimed at ending the political conflict in Sudan. 

Qatar has welcomed the United Nation’s latest initiative to solve the political crisis in Sudan. The UN announced it will launch negotiations as part of a comprehensive process between Sudanese political parties and the military. The aim of the consultations, the international body says, is to reach an agreement and a sustainable path of progress towards peace.

On Saturday, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed Doha’s hopes that the consultations would pave the way to find common ground that represents all spectrums of the Sudanese people and achieves their goals for peace, freedom, and justice.

Sudan’s civil society has been resisting the military coup which overthrew the country’s transitional government in October last year. That government had come to power after a popular uprising ousted former army General and long-time ruler Omar AlBashir in August 2019.

Current army chief, General Abdel Fattah Burhan announced a state of emergency and dissolved the transitional government’s cabinet and the council in a power grab that was condemned by governments the world over. Since then there have been consistent protests and demonstrations by millions of Sudanese people demanding democracy and civilian rule.

Read also: Qatar welcomes Sudan political agreement

Many of these protests were met with force by Sudan’s military and security apparatus, pro-democracy activists and journalists have been detained in recent weeks and months and there has been an internet blackout for long periods during that time. All of this has intensified the standoff between political parties calling for freedom and democracy, and those supporting the junta’s power grab.

In a bid to appease the international community, the army had released and re-instated transitional Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok after initially placing him under house arrest. On 2 January however, Hamdok announced his resignation, saying a roundtable discussion between all parties was needed to get the country out of the current deadlock.

Qatar-Sudan history of ties

Qatar and Sudan have shared strong bilateral relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1972.

In 2011, Doha supported a negotiation process that resulted in the Darfur Peace Agreement, which brought together the government of Sudan and the armed movements to end the six-year-long Darfur conflict.

In 2013, Qatar held the International Donors Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur, where the country pledged to raise $7.2 billion to help rebuild the conflict area over a period of six years.

In addition, Qatar joined in the final signing ceremony of the peace agreement between the transitional government of the Republic of Sudan and the Sudanese Armed Movements in October 2020.

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