Senior officials from France, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union have concluded a joint visit to Khartoum to show support for the people of Sudan and a civilian-led transition towards democracy.
They called for immediate progress towards a civilian transitional government, agreed through the Sudanese-led political process being facilitated by the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission to Sudan (UNITAMS), the African Union (AU), and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). In this respect they welcomed the facilitators’ announcement that they would convene a meeting to this end on 10-12 May. They called upon all Sudanese stakeholders to participate constructively and fully in this process and pointed out the dangers of any further delay. The delegation warned against any agreement or government resulting from non-inclusive processes which would lack credibility with the Sudanese public and the international community.
The delegation underscored the importance of action to create an enabling environment for the success of the UNITAMS-AU-IGAD facilitated process. They welcomed the recent release of some detained political leaders, and pressed Sudan’s military leaders to release all remaining political detainees and activists; to end violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, against protestors; to ensure accountability for those responsible for such acts; and to immediately lift the state of emergency. They stressed that freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association needed to be respected in full for the UNITAMS-AU-IGAD facilitated process to succeed. They expressed grave concern about the members of the former regime once again being installed, further exacerbating tensions in Sudanese society and making it more difficult to implement reforms.
The delegation expressed concern at the rapid deterioration of the Sudanese economy, and the immense challenges that the Sudanese people were facing as a result. They pledged to continue humanitarian and other forms of direct assistance to the Sudanese people during this difficult time. They underscored that international financial support for the Sudanese government, including debt relief, could only follow establishment of a credible civilian government. They expressed concern that without this, Sudan might lose billions of dollars in development assistance from the World Bank, and that Sudan’s IMF programme and $19 billion in associated debt relief would be imperilled.
The delegation also noted the fragile state of Sudan’s peace process, as tragically illustrated by the recent deaths of more than 200 people in West Darfur. The delegation strongly condemned this violence. They called for those responsible to be held accountable. They underscored the urgent need for rapid implementation of the security structures envisioned under the Juba Peace Agreement. They emphasised that a durable peace in Darfur, the Two Areas, and other parts of Sudan was inextricably linked to a civilian transition to democracy.
The delegation reaffirmed their governments’ and the EU’s unwavering support to the Sudanese people’s aspirations for freedom, peace and justice.
Note for editors: The visiting delegation consisted of French Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Frederic Clavier, German Director for East Africa and the Horn of Africa Thorsten Hutter, Norwegian Director General for Regional Affairs May-Elin Stener, UK Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea Philip Parham, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa, Sudan, and South Sudan Peter Lord, and EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa Annette Weber.
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