EU Dispatches Envoy to Sudan, Khartoum Calls for Removing Debts

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto will visit Sudan to convey the European Union’s support for the power-sharing agreement struck between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change.

A statement issued in Brussels by the EU office for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said that Haavisto was tasked by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to reach out on both the situation in the country and on how the international community can accompany Sudan on its transition path.

“The Minister’s visit to Sudan, as well as Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, follows the recent announcement of an agreement between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change on a civilian-led transition in Sudan,” the statement read.

“The European Union remains fully engaged on the situation in Sudan, standing by the Sudanese parties who reached an agreement, as well as calling on regional and international actors to play a constructive role in this context. Thanks to his experience in the region, in particular in Sudan with both the EU and the UN, Minister Haavisto will explore how the EU can best support Sudan in its path towards democracy, respect for human rights and stability,” Mogherini said, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said he was encouraged by the agreement and urged all parties to “continue to resolve any outstanding issues through dialogue.”

Speaking at the UN Human Right Council on Tuesday, Gilmour said he hoped that the new agreement “creates new momentum for the protection of human rights in Sudan and that in the coming weeks we will be able to travel to Sudan to continue discussions on the opening of a fully mandated office.”

He added that the UN Human Rights Office “stands ready and looks forward to assist Sudan to strengthen the protection of the human rights in a context of transition to civilian rule.”

Separately, the Sudanese government’s representative to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva called on the international community to exempt his country from foreign debts and remove sanctions after the power-sharing deal was reached last week.

According to the German news agency, Osama Hamida asserted that his country, in the wake of the “glorious revolution” led by the people, was heading towards a new future, adding that it was time to end the sanctions imposed on Sudan “and exempt it from external debts.”

source: aawsat