The recent political events and violence against protestors in Sudan follows over six months of demonstrations, triggered initially by the spiralling costs of living.
On 11 April, it was announced that President Omar al-Bashir had been removed from power and that a transitional military council, TMC, had assumed control in Sudan.
Demonstrators, while welcoming the removal of al-Bashir, continued to demonstrate for a civilian-led government. Final agreement regarding a civilian majority on a proposed 11-member supreme council was opposed by the transitional military council, and negotiations stalled.
Shortly after dawn on 3 June, heavily armed security forces surrounded demonstrators and shot indiscriminately with live bullets and tear gas resulting in significant loss of life. On the same day, the TMC announced that it was cancelling all agreements with the opposition and elections would be held within nine months. Demonstrators demand a longer period to guarantee fair elections.
On 3 June, the EU High Representative, Ms Mogherini, stated that there could be no justification for the use of force to disperse peaceful protests, and that the TMC is accountable for security and rule of law in the country. I also issued a statement strongly condemning the use of violence and excessive force against protestors.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council met yesterday, 17 June, to discuss Sudan. An EU 28 statement issued following the meeting which condemned the violence against protestors, including sexual and gender-based violence. It also expressed EU support for the African Union, which has taken a principled and robust stance to the crisis.
My officials continue to actively monitor developments in Sudan, through the Embassy of Ireland in Nairobi and through the European Union delegation in Khartoum. Senior officials from my Department also met the Sudanese ambassador to Ireland earlier this year to discuss the situation. Ireland continues to respond to ongoing humanitarian needs through the provision of humanitarian funding, with over €29 million provided through our UN, NGO and Red Cross partners since 2012.