Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Sudan - UNITAMS
Statement13 September 2022
Thank you Madame President.
And thank you Volker for your briefing.
Ireland strongly supports the work of UNITAMS, the AU and IGAD in Sudan. I want to thank you and your team for your tireless efforts. I also want to thank Mr. Ibrahim Mudawi for his thoughtful intervention.
The deeply damaging consequences of last year’s military coup are now clearly manifesting throughout the country. No aspect of Sudanese society has been left untouched by the fractured politics in Khartoum. We see this in the political and security turmoil as well as in the deteriorating economic, social and humanitarian environment. I am particularly alarmed by increasing militarisation of Sudanese life and rising armed conflict against civilians.
Moreover, this crisis is occurring in a context of growing regional instability and a global food crisis, which is particularly impacting the Horn. In Sudan today, hunger is now a looming reality for millions—an upsetting reversal in a country that has traditionally been a global leader in the areas of agriculture production. Food costs are soaring and access to basic goods is limited due to the effects of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. This situation is being exacerbated by severe flooding and the impacts of climate change. Once again, it is the most vulnerable that are suffering the most. Ireland and the European Union will continue to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to those that need it most.
As we have heard from the SRSG, only genuinely inclusive politics can be the foundation to address the acute challenges Sudan is facing.
The military’s announcement that it would withdraw from the political process to allow space for real dialogue is positive. But only if rhetoric is accompanied by action. We urge the military to facilitate an environment that is conducive to genuine progress.
The SRSG told us an opportunity exists to end the crisis. While there may be an opening, all stakeholders need to put aside their differences and grasp this opportunity to shape Sudan’s political future in a spirit of compromise and consensus.
The window of opportunity to chart a path back to a civilian-led democratic transition may not be open for long. We call for redoubled support from the international community to facilitate consensus building among Sudan’s democratic stakeholders, and to bolster the role of UNITAMS and the Trilateral Mechanism.
For this process to have any chance of success, women must be fully and meaningfully involved. And there is more work to be done on this as we have just heard from Mr. Mudawi.
We are deeply concerned by continued reports of excessive use of force against peaceful protesters by the military authorities and associated armed groups, across the country. This is unacceptable and must end. All human rights violations and serious crimes against civilians, including sexual violence and violations against children in armed conflict, must be investigated and those responsible held to account in a timely manner.
Ultimately, we have to get to a point where the military accepts the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people. They must resist the temptation to cling to illegitimate power and work in partnership with their Sudanese brothers and sisters to realise a better future.
While the political process develops in Khartoum, the authorities continue to have a responsibility to protect their own people, throughout the entire country. Recently in West Darfur and Blue Nile, hundreds of civilians were massacred.
I want to express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. The authorities must do everything they can to protect civilians, ensure accountability and tackle the root causes of this violence.
This includes making real progress in the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement and the Sudanese National Protection of Civilians Plan.
In conclusion, Madame President,
Let me reiterate our call for all Sudanese stakeholders to come together to find a way out of this political stalemate. The stakes are too high for the people of Sudan and the risks are too great for the stability of the region, if they don’t. Now is the time to restore Sudan’s democratic transition for the benefit of all its people.