Political progress will be vital in alleviating economic and humanitarian suffering of Sudanese people

Thank you, Madam President. Thank you also to SRSG Perthes for his briefing and for the continued work that he and his team are doing in the most difficult circumstances. I would also like to welcome our new Sudanese colleague, and the participation of the Sudanese delegation in this meeting.

I would like to make three points in response to what we have just heard today.

Firstly, the United Kingdom regrets the lack of progress in resolving the political crisis created by the 25 October coup. We deplore the killing of almost 100 protesters since October, and urge an immediate end to the violence.

We fully support the joint efforts of UNITAMS, the AU and IGAD to facilitate a Sudanese-led process to resolve the political crisis.

For this process to be successful, the Sudanese military needs to make progress on confidence-building measures, including the release of all political detainees, an end to excessive use of force against protesters and the lifting of the state of emergency.

We urge all Sudanese stakeholders to engage in good faith with the tripartite process, and to make the compromises needed to realise the Sudanese people’s legitimate demands for freedom, peace and justice.

Secondly, Madam President, I want to emphasise that this is not a matter that only concerns Sudan’s political elites. Political progress will be vital in alleviating the economic hardship and humanitarian suffering of the Sudanese people.

Restoration of a credible, civilian-led government will create the conditions for much-needed economic reforms and for international support, including debt relief, to resume.

As the political crisis drags on, the scale and intensity of the violence across Sudan, including Darfur, has also increased.

We welcome efforts made by the signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement to stand up to the Joint Security Keeping Force, and their efforts, with UNITAMS’ support, to operationalise the Permanent Ceasefire Committee in Darfur. But further steps are urgently needed to fully implement the JPA and address the root causes of conflict, if Darfur is to achieve sustainable peace.

Thirdly, I want to emphasise that UNITAMS has the full support of the United Kingdom in its efforts to implement all of its mandated tasks. We look forward to working with Council members to renew the mandate in the coming weeks.

The mandate should reflect the realities in Sudan, and enable UNITAMS to provide the support that Sudan requires. UNITAMS can only provide that support in partnership with Sudan. We therefore call on the Sudanese authorities to return to a civilian-led transition to ensure the right structures and interlocutors are in place for a productive and sustainable partnership.

Madam President, to conclude, this Council has committed to support the Sudanese people in their journey to democracy and ending conflict after decades of misrule and violence. The United Kingdom will continue to uphold this commitment and urges full support for the joint UN-AU-IGAD process as the best means to deliver this.

Thank you.

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