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EU decries coup as ‘attempt to undermine Sudan’s transition towards democracy’

October 26 - 2021 BRUSSELS
File photo (EU)
File photo (EU)

The European Union has issued a statement strongly condemning the coup in Sudan, the declaration of a State of Emergency, and demanding that Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and those detained be released immediately. The EU warns of “serious consequences” including suspension of financial support.

The statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on Sudan, released this evening by EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Nabila Massrali, “strongly condemns the military coup in Sudan and the unlawful detention of the Prime Minister, several Ministers, leaders of the Forces of the Freedom and Change, and other civil society representatives”. The EU statement asserts that “they must be released immediately”.

The EU also strongly condemns the statement of Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan declaring a nationwide State of Emergency, the suspension of key articles of the Constitutional Document and the dissolution of governing bodies. “This attempt to undermine Sudan’s transition towards democracy is unacceptable. If the situation is not reversed immediately, there will be serious consequences for EU’s engagement, including its financial support.”

The statement by the High Representative points out that “following decades of authoritarian rule and repressive dictatorship, the legitimate right of the people of Sudan to a better future respecting rule of law, human rights, and democracy, including electing a civilian government, must be respected.”

It also “recalls the right of and respect for peaceful protests” and urges security forces to show restraint. “Further violence and bloodshed must be avoided at all costs and perpetrators of human rights violation shall be held accountable.” Access to communication networks must be restored without delay, the EU says.

“The EU reiterates its strong commitment to Sudan’s transition, calling on all stakeholders and regional partners to support the country’s immediate return to the democratic path,” the statement concludes.

In March, the EU agreed with the World Bank on the second phase of the EU contribution to the Samarat family support programme, one of the important components of the transitional government’s reform programme, which aims to ease the economic impacts of these reforms on the Sudanese and the most vulnerable families.this programme by extending an additional €70 million. The first phase which amounted to €93 million, was announced on September 27 last year.

The contributions of other member states of the European Union brings the total contribution of the European Group to the programme to €310 million.

There have been many reactions condemning the power grab by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) under the command of Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, who took power through a military coup at dawn yesterday. Sudan's Ministry of Information said that the coup constitutes a crime and called for the immediate release of the kidnapped Prime Minister whilst the USA has decided to suspend $700m in aid to Sudan.

At time of posting, the United Nations Security Council were meeting in New York to discuss the developments in Sudan.

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