UNITAMS to wrap up first round of consultations, publish summary

KHARTOUM, (Reuters) – The United Nations special mission in Sudan is concluding an initial round of consultations aimed at salvaging the country’s democratic transition and will produce a summary document next week, a U.N. source told Reuters on Wednesday.

A military coup on Oct. 25 ended a two-year partnership between the military and the country’s main civilian political parties, the Forces of Freedom and Change coalition. Since then, protesters have taken to the streets demanding a full handover of power to civilians and rejecting negotiations.

In January, the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan began individual meetings with political parties, armed groups, civil society and the military, aiming to draw out points of agreement and disagreement, which the document will outline in addition to setting priorities going forward, the U.N. source said.

The summary document will then be up for discussion in a second round of consultations, the source said.

At the launch, the United Nations had said the talks could lead to indirect or direct talks to resolve the crisis.

The resistance committees that have organised protests and other political groups have expressed apprehension in statements that the process is legitimising the military. Military leaders have also cautioned that the U.N. role should be that of a facilitator rather than mediator.

Thousands of Sudanese marchedagainst military rule again on Monday in Khartoum and other cities, with some saying they were concerned about the return to government of members of the ousted regime of ex-president Omar al-Bashir.

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