Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Sudan - UNITAMS
Statement07 December 2022
Thank you President, and thanks you also to Special Representative Perthes for your briefing. And we also welcome the presence of the representative of Sudan.
Ireland welcomes the break-through in the political process towards a new democratic transition in Sudan. We commend the Sudanese people on taking this important step on the road back to a hopeful future. And we very much appreciate the efforts of the UN, AU and IGAD in supporting and facilitating this progress.
We have seen the damaging consequences of last year’s coup on all aspects of Sudanese life; from politics and security through to the economy.
For Sudan to recover from this setback, the military must now live up to its commitment to hand over power to a civilian-led government.
They must create a conducive environment for the next stage of the political process. In practical terms, this means that the military and security services must stop the use of force against protesters, halt unlawful detention, and ensure the right of peaceful assembly and association.
The release of high-level political prisoners earlier this week was a critical confidence building measure. However, other ordinary Sudanese people who simply called for the return to democratic transition remain in detention. Their freedom would truly be a sign that this agreement marks the beginning of a return of the people to power.
A lasting political agreement requires the buy-in of the people of Sudan, not just in Khartoum, but throughout the country.
It cannot just be another elite bargain: Sudan has seen enough of these after over thirty years of dictatorship and war.
The years since the 2019 revolution have seen a widening trust gap: this must be addressed during this second phase of the negotiations. Youth, civil society, women and the community-level resistance committees have played key roles in Sudan’s journey towards democracy.
Women were missing from the room on Monday. The commitment of 40% participation by women set out in the new accord must be realised. They must be at the negotiating table, in decision-making bodies and in all areas of public life.
We encourage all stakeholders to meaningfully engage in the political process and put aside vested interests and entrenched positions. A spirit of consensus is now needed to deliver for the people of Sudan.
As we have just heard from Volker, there are a number of vital issues that need to be resolved in the coming weeks.
In particular, accountability and transitional justice will be crucial to lasting peace. As the accord acknowledges, this must deliver for the victims of both current and past crimes in Sudan.
The important work done by Sudanese experts during the previous transitional period can be a starting point. Sudan can also draw upon UN expertise and lessons from other countries, such as Colombia, that have found ways to deliver victim-centered justice. As the UN High Commissioner said after his recent visit to Sudan, human rights and justice have to be at the core of this transition.
The political crisis has distracted the authorities from delivering on their responsibility to provide security in Sudan. It has also emboldened some actors to take advantage of the crisis to seize resources and position.
The rise in sub-national violence has been alarming.
A return to civilian-led government and security sector reform will be key to resolving conflicts such as those we have seen in Blue Nile, Darfur and Kordofan.
Finally, we remain very worried about the humanitarian situation. It continues to deteriorate and is made worse by the economic crisis, the effects of climate change and hunger that is exacerbated by conflict.
Ireland and the EU will continue to support Sudan in alleviating this humanitarian crisis—indeed Ireland has just made an additional contribution to humanitarian partners in Sudan this month. We will continue to stand with the Sudanese people as they emerge from the shadow of the coup.
Ireland supports the proposed press statement welcoming the political agreement as mentioned by the United Kingdom.