The Friends of Sudan group has reiterated its strong support for the combined efforts of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission to Sudan (UNITAMS), the African Union (AU), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to facilitate a Sudanese-led political process to restore a civilian-led transition to democracy.
The group, consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
It issued a statement on Wednesday saying it looks forward to the imminent launch of the next phase of the talks with the aim of building consensus around the structure of credible, civilian-led institutions that will lead Sudan through a revived civilian-led transition period, culminating in free and fair democratic elections.
“The urgency cannot be overstated,” the group stressed, urging constructive engagement of all stakeholders in this next phase and underscoring the importance of ensuring women, as well as youth, and other historically marginalized groups enjoy full, effective, and meaningful participation and inclusion throughout every stage of the process.
The statement called for creating the enabling environment that allows all stakeholders to participate and freely express their views, adding that Sudanese citizens must be protected from all kinds of violence.
“Full respect for freedoms of association, expression, and peaceful assembly is vital, as is protection of property.”
The group also expressed its deep concern by the immense economic pressures currently facing the Sudanese people, affirming that it is committed to continuing to provide direct, humanitarian support to them during this difficult period.
“We look forward to the restoration of a credible transitional government agreed through the UNITAMS-AU-IGAD-facilitated political process, which would pave the way to restore economic assistance and international debt relief,” it added.
The group members said they continue to endorse the Sudanese-led political process facilitated by UNITAMS, the AU, and IGAD as the best vehicle to realize the Sudanese people’s aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice and to restore Sudan’s democratic transition and pledged their full support to the Sudanese people and this process.
Meanwhile, Sudan’s opposition Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) has announced supporting the political process launched by the UNITAMS and the AU.
It commended in a statement the report of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of UNITAMS, Volker Perthes, before the UN Security Council in which he denounced the grave human rights violations against protesters and underlined the need to restore civilian democratic rule in the country.