Written answers

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Conflicts

Photo of Neasa HouriganNeasa Hourigan (Dublin Central, Green Party)
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362. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the military coup that took place in Sudan on 25 October 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54043/21]

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fail)
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369. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the recent military and security forces coup in Sudan; if his attention has been drawn to subsequent reports of many human rights infringements in Sudan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54054/21]

Photo of Colm BrophyColm Brophy (Dublin South West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 362 and 369 together.

In 2019 the people of Sudan achieved a path to democratic civilian government following thirty years of military rule. While there has been significant progress since then, the relationship between the military and civilian elements of its government has become increasingly fraught in recent months culminating in a coup on 24-25 October. This coup saw the detention of civilian members of the government and also civil society leaders. There are reports of targeted killings and violence against protestors.

These actions have put in jeopardy the hard-won transition. They are counter to the legitimate wishes of the Sudanese people for freedom, peace, justice and inclusive development. They also have worrying implications for peace and security in the region more broadly. The military takeover of power must be reversed and the democratic transition restored.

At the UN Security Council on 26 October, Ireland unequivocally condemned the military coup, the attacks against protesting civilians and the campaign of unlawful detention against civilian leaders. The Security Council subsequently issued a Press Statement on 28 October, expressing serious concern at the military takeover, and calling for the immediate release of all those detained by the military authorities. We will continue to push for Council oversight as the situation unfolds, including through the three Sudan-focused mandates over which the Council presides: UNITAMS (UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan), UNISFA (Interim Security Force for Abyei) and the Sudan sanctions regime.

High Representative Josep Borrell issued a statement on 26 October on behalf of the EU Member States, including Ireland, warning of serious consequences if the move to dismantle the transitional government was not reversed. Two days later, Ireland participated in a meeting of the EU Political and Security Committee where grave concern at developments was expressed.

At the forthcoming Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 15 November, Minister Coveney will discuss with other EU leaders how a return to democracy in Sudan might encouraged.

At the Special Session of the Human Rights Council on Sudan on 5 November, Ireland delivered a strong statement commending the courage of the Sudanese people and urging the military authorities to fully respect the rights of peaceful assembly and for a return to the full implementation of the Constitutional Document and the Juba Peace Agreement.

Ireland welcomed the decision of the African Union (AU) to suspend Sudan from AU activities until “the effective restoration of the civilian-led Transitional Authority”. I am encouraged that an emissary to Sudan is to be appointed by the African Commission Chairperson. I strongly support the efforts by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, Volker Perthes, in Khartoum, and the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Annette Weber, to engage with Sudanese and regional stakeholders.

Ireland supports three organisations, which provide protection and/or assistance to human rights defenders in Sudan, including with a specific focus on women human rights defenders.

My officials, including at the Embassy of Ireland in Nairobi and which is accredited to Sudan, continue to engage with partners for the restoration of the democratic transition in Sudan.


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