The United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) said Wednesday it is in there by request of Sudan along with a mandate by the UN Security Council.

Hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated Wednesday in front of the mission’s headquarters and other foreign embassies in Khartoum protesting what they said is “foreign intervention” in the country’s affairs.

UNITAMS said on Twitter that it defends “freedom of assembly & expression and offered to receive a delegation” from the protesters to listen to their demands but “they refused.”

The head of UNITAMS, Volcker Perthes, announced Jan. 8, the launch of UN-facilitated consultations for a political process among all Sudanese parties to reach a political settlement to the country crisis.

Sudan has been in turmoil since Oct. 25 last year, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency.

Prior to the military takeover, Sudan was governed by a sovereign council of military and civilian officials tasked with overseeing the transition period until elections in 2023.

Hamdok was reinstated on Nov. 21 following an agreement but protesters denounced the deal, insisting on the removal of any military influence on the transitional governing coalition.

He resigned on Jan. 2, citing a political deadlock.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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