Statement at the UNSC Briefing on the Situation in Sudan
Statement24 May 2022
Thank you SRSG Perthes for your briefing this morning and I would also like to welcome our new colleague to the table, Ambassador Mohamed from Sudan.
The situation in Sudan is deeply worrying. As we have heard this morning with the country facing a political, economic, food, and humanitarian crisis, with half the population expected to need assistance by September. At its current trajectory, I also fear we may now be witnessing a slide back to authoritarian control. I echo the Secretary General’s , and indeed your call SRSG Perthes this morning for a return to the transitional path and to civilian-led democratic government, this should be inclusive, and through a Sudanese owned political dialogue.
We commend the joint efforts of UNITAMS, the AU, and IGAD in facilitating political dialogue among all Sudanese stakeholders so far. Volker, you and your team have worked tirelessly in difficult circumstances. Your efforts have our full support.
I encourage all Sudanese stakeholders to play their part, to show good faith, and create a conducive environment for peace talks and inclusive dialogue. In particular, I urge the military and security authorities to immediately end the violence against civilian protestors.
The Sudanese authorities must ensure the right to peaceful assembly; lift the state of emergency and take concrete steps to hold the security forces and associated armed groups to account.
The release of some political detainees last month was welcome news, but I again call for the release of all remaining political activists detained since the October coup.
I am encouraged by the involvement of women in the political talks. However, as we have heard– Sudanese women legitimately fear a return to the oppression, exclusion, and injustice of the Omar al-Bashir-era. The rights of the women of Sudan to play a decisive role in their economy, politics, and peace building of their wider society must be protected.
A dire economic picture has steadily worsened since the coup last October. While the invasion of Ukraine has had a significant impact on the prices of food and basic goods in Sudan, we call on the Sudanese authorities to avoid actions, which exacerbate these problems. As we heard just now in the chamber, 40 per cent of Sudan’s population are on a track to be food insecure by September. I want to note that today is the fourth anniversary to the day of the adoption of resolution 2417 on conflict and hunger here at this table. We should live up to our responsibilities here at the Security Council in respect to that resolution.
As to Sudan’s plight, UNITAMS and Sudan’s partners, including the EU, stand with the people of Sudan and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance. I wanted to emphasise that it is vital, it is fundamental however, that humanitarian access is not impeded, so support can get to those who need it most. The political breakdown in Khartoum has also resulted in increased violence in Darfur. Since the withdrawal of UNAMID, this Council has too often had to discuss violence, mass killings and widespread displacement in Darfur. There is also a disturbing rise in sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur. This simply must end.
We welcome the role that the Permanent Ceasefire Committee (PCC) has been playing in Darfur. However, we need to see full implementation of the National Plan on the Protection of Civilians and the Juba Peace Agreement without delay.
To finish, let me reiterate our call for all parties to live up to their commitments to the Sudanese people and to reemphasize our support for UNITAMS in continuing your work supporting Sudan to overcome its challenges.