UNITED NATIONS, October 26. /TASS/. It is up to the people of Sudan to decide whether the recent events in the country were a coup or not, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky told reporters on Tuesday before a closed UN Security Council meeting on the issue.
"It is difficult to say, is it a coup or not. A coup has a concrete definition. There are situations like this in many states, in many parts of the world, and they are not being called ‘coups,’" Polyansky said, adding that sometimes similar events are referred to simply as "change of power."
"We need to see. It’s up to the Sudanese to decide whether it’s a coup or not a coup," he continued. "There was a forcible change of power in 2019 in Sudan. Was it called a coup? <…> I don’t think it’s our task to label such situations as ‘coup’ or ‘not coup.’ You know our position on what happened in Ukraine in 2014, we think it’s a coup."
When asked to comment on a statement by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who called upon UN Security Council member states to unite in order to efficiently counter "an epidemic of coup d'etats," the Russian diplomat said: "Usually, the Secretary General does not criticize the Security Council, because we are different powers, I would say. I understand that he is extremely worried, as everybody is."
When asked whether he had any information about the fate of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the country’s future form of government, Polyansky replied: "That’s what we are going to find out right now."
Reports of violence
Some of those protesting against the power shift in Sudan are resorting to violence, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said.
"As far as I see, they are not peacefully protesting, there are also violent protests," he said.
"The diplomat urged "to stop the violence among the sides." "That’s the most important thing," he continued. "And I’m looking forward to listening to the reports [about] what is happening there on the ground."
Following weeks-long protests, the Sudanese military arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and several high-ranking officials and politicians in the small hours on Monday. The country’s leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burkhan, dissolved supreme authorities and imposed a state of emergency. He also suspended a number of provisions of the constitutional declaration, which sets the frames of the interim period after toppling of President Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled the country for 30 years, and determines relations between the military and civilian authorities.
According to Reuters, at least seven people were killed and about 140 injured when people protesting against the latest developments clashed with the military.