Sudan: Statement by the European Union and the Troika

The European Union and the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) underscore their continued support for the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people. Abdallah Hamdok played a major role in leading Sudan’s democratic and economic reforms. His resignation as Sudanese Prime Minister, two months after the military’s unconstitutional seizure of power, reinforces the urgent need for all Sudanese leaders to recommit to the country’s democratic transition and deliver on the Sudanese people’s demands for freedom, peace, and justice. No single Sudanese actor can accomplish this task on their own.

While the European Union and the Troika will continue to support the democratic transition in Sudan, Sudanese stakeholders will need to work on the basis of the 2019 Constitutional Declaration on how to overcome the nation’s current political crisis, select new civilian leadership, and identify clear timelines and processes for the remaining transitional tasks – including establishing the legislative and judicial branches of government, creating accountability mechanisms, and laying the groundwork for elections.

Unilateral action to appoint a new Prime Minister and Cabinet would undermine those institutions’ credibility and risks plunging the nation into conflict. To avoid this, we strongly urge stakeholders to commit to an immediate, Sudanese-led and internationally facilitated dialogue to address these and other transitional issues. Such a dialogue should be fully inclusive and representative of historically marginalized groups, include youth and women, and would help put the country back on the path to democracy.

The European Union and the Troika will not support a Prime Minister or government appointed without the involvement of a broad range of civilian stakeholders. We look forward to working with a government and a transitional parliament, which enjoy credibility with the Sudanese people and can lead the country to free and fair elections as a priority. This will be necessary to facilitate the European Union and the Troika’s provision of economic assistance to Sudan. In the absence of progress, we would look to accelerate efforts to hold those actors impeding the democratic process accountable.

At this critical juncture, we continue to hold the military authorities responsible for human rights violations which are against current national legislation and international law. The right of the Sudanese people to assemble peacefully and express their demands needs to be protected. We expect the security services and other armed groups to refrain from using further violence against peaceful protestors and civilians across the country, especially in Darfur.

The killing of scores of Sudanese, sexual violence and the injuries of hundreds more by the security services and other armed groups since the October 25 military takeover is unacceptable. We reiterate the need for independent investigations into these deaths and associated violence, and call for the perpetrators to be held accountable. Attacks on hospitals, detentions of activists and journalists, and communication blackouts, must also stop. We once again call for all those unjustly detained to be released and for the State of Emergency to be lifted immediately.

Sudan’s people have spoken as loudly and clearly as they did in 2019. They reject authoritarian rule and want the transition toward democracy to continue. Sudan’s leaders must now show they are listening.