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Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, TD, on Sudan violence

I am gravely concerned by the killing of at least 14 young men and women and the injuring of over 100 by the security forces in Sudan on Wednesday, including credible reports of attacks on medical personnel and facilities, and on those seeking treatment for the wounded.  These incidents come on top of violence and attacks at the weekend.  I extend my deep condolences to the families and victims of these unacceptable acts.

Respect for the provision of medical care to the wounded is a fundamental obligation for all and these violations are particularly heinous. Ireland has direct experience of the dedication and professionalism of Sudanese doctors and nurses.

Since the military coup which began on 24/25 October, the people of Sudan have consistently and peacefully declared that legitimacy cannot come from the barrel of a gun.  It is time for the coup leaders to halt the violence, for Prime Minister Hamdok, the civilian leadership and all political detainees to be released, and for telecommunications to be fully restored. Credible discussions can then commence on a way forward which honours the demands of the Sudanese people for freedom, peace and justice and puts the country on a new path to democracy.

I welcome yesterday’s statement by High Representative Borrell that there will be consequences for EU support to Sudan if there is a failure to restore constitutional order, as also demanded by the African Union Peace and Security Council. It is clear that the cycle of impunity for those who have long perpetrated grave crimes in Sudan has not yet been broken and continues to undermine the peace and stability of the country. Those who violate fundamental norms of international law must be held accountable.

The costs are mounting, both for Sudan and for the stability of the region.  The reckless and unlawful actions of the coup leaders cannot be permitted to hold hostage the aspirations and safety of the people of Sudan.  

My Department, including our Embassy in Nairobi, will continue to monitor the situation closely, and to work with our partners in the region, within the European Union, and at the United Nations Security Council, to consider what further measures might be taken to protect and reset the path to democratic transition, and to maintain peace and security.

ENDS

Press Office

19 November 2021

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