An important first step towards restoring the democratic transition in Sudan

An important first step towards restoring the democratic transition in Sudan

F.P. Report

LONDON: Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council briefing on UNITAMS has said that Mr President, let me begin by thanking SRSG Perthes for his briefing and for all his work over a challenging three month period since we last met, the work of him and his team in difficult circumstances. I would also like to thank Ambassador Jürgenson for this tireless service on the 1591 Committee, thank you Sven.

I will focus my intervention on three issues – the coup and 21 November Political Agreement; the human rights situation; and the Juba Peace Agreement and situation in Darfur. 

The military coup on 25 October, which we condemn in the strongest possible terms, jeopardised the hard won progress made by the civilian-led government since the 2019 revolution. Regional organisations and this Council expressed their serious concern at the events.

We recognise the 21 November Political Agreement as an important first step towards restoring the democratic transition. All parties must take a genuinely inclusive and consultative approach to delivering the democratic transition. We encourage the prompt formation of a Cabinet, the Transitional Legislative Council and other governance institutions as part of setting out plans for inclusive and credible elections.

We also reiterate our call for the immediate release of all detainees since 25 October. Such steps are a vital part of rebuilding trust and confidence with the Sudanese public and international community after the coup.  

The United Kingdom commends UNITAMS’ continued efforts to support dialogue and the transition process in challenging circumstances. We also welcome the Mission’s efforts to strengthen relationships with civil society to build public support for the transition.

Mr President, the deterioration of the human rights situation since the coup is deeply concerning. It is essential that freedoms of expression and assembly are protected and that people can protest without fear of violence. We condemn the loss of over 43 lives, probably many more and welcome the Sudanese authorities’ commitment to investigate the deaths of protestors since 25 October.

The United Kingdom also welcomes the UN Human Rights Council’s appointment of Adama Dieng as the Expert on Human Rights in Sudan and urges Sudan to engage with him in this work.

Working closely with OHCHR, we also urge Sudan to establish an effective and independent National Human Rights Commission in support of restoring the democratic transition.

Mr President, we welcome the establishment of the Joint High Military Committee for Security Arrangements, and the Permanent Ceasefire Committee in Darfur, which UNITAMS chairs, as important steps towards implementing the security provisions of the Juba Peace Agreement.

It is, however, regrettable that the coup has further delayed progress on the implementation of the JPA. We urge all parties to engage in an inclusive dialogue to rebuild trust among members of the Eastern Track and non-signatory armed groups. 

Resurgent intercommunal violence in Darfur and other parts of the country is deeply concerning. The United Kingdom deeply regrets the loss of life and stresses the need for the underlying causes of such violence to be addressed.

We reiterate our call for swift implementation of the National Plan for Civilian Protection, particularly through the deployment of the joint security keeping force and related provisions in the Juba Peace Agreement.

Finally, Mr President, I would like to reiterate our solidarity with the people of Sudan and assure them of the United Kingdom’s support in their demands for freedom, peace and justice. The hard won gains since the 2019 revolution must be protected, and we urge this Council and international partners to continue to shine a spotlight on Sudan and press for progress.

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