The European Union has added its voice to the cautiously positive international reaction to Sunday’s announcement of the lifting of the State of Emergency, and pledge to release detainees, by Sudan’s Sovereignty Council.
The State of Emergency, which came into effect following the October 25 military coup and was underpinned by the dissolution of the transitional cabinet, initiated nationwide anti-coup protests that have rocked Sudan ever since.
The Sovereignty Council says that they hope this decision will provide “a fruitful and meaningful dialogue that achieves stability during the transitional period”.
In a statement via the spokesperson in Brussels, the EU welcomes the announced lifting of the State of Emergency throughout the country and the release of detainees “as commendable first steps in creating the much needed conducive environment for dialogue”.
The EU also welcomes the decision to allow the Al Jazeera Live channel to resume its operations in Sudan. The Sudanese Ministry of Information and Culture withdrew the license of Al Jazeera Live in January.
‘The EU calls upon all parties to engage actively and constructively in the dialogue efforts…’
“Time is of the essence for Sudan’s efforts to find an inclusive and sustainable way out of the current crisis, which is severely affecting the population,” the EU statement says. “We therefore call upon authorities to continue their efforts to create a truly conducive environment for dialogue, by completing the release of those who were detained since 25 October last, ensuring due process to those detainees who face criminal charges against them, and effectively ending the violence against peaceful demonstrators, allowing them to enjoy their basic human rights of assembly and expression.”
The statement underlines: “It is crucial for alleged violations of human rights to be investigated and for perpetrators to be held to account. The EU calls upon all parties to engage actively and constructively in the dialogue efforts, facilitated by the trilateral mechanism of UNITAMS, AU, and IGAD*. They have our full support,” the statement concludes.
Despite the lifting of the State of Emergency on Sunday, two protesters complained about being abused in detention after they were held during a vigil for the young activists who are on trial after being accused of killing a senior police officer. Security forces also used heavy tear gas on protesters during Monday’s pro-democracy protests.
*The United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), African Union, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Trilateral Mechanism was launched on Thursday, May 12.
Some rebel movements and protest groups, including the Forces for Freedom and Chance – Central Council and the Resistance Committees of Khartoum, refuse to participate in a trilateral initiative of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), African Union, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to facilitate negotiations between different parties in Sudan to resolve current disputes.
The groups refused to take part in a dialogue with the military coup authorities and those who support them as they fear that this will legitimise the coup.