AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
SOUTH AFRICA, Niger, Tunisia, St Vincent and the Grenadines have made a joint special plea for the lfting of sanctions against Sudan, which have out-ran their course.
“In fact, they are further hindering prospects for progress in the country,” said Ambassador Jerry Matsila, in an address to the United Nation Security Council, on behalf of the four countries.
Matsila said significant progress has been made in the international community’s mission to achieve peace and stability in the Darfur region.
He said South Africa, Niger, Tunisia, St Vincent and the Grenadines were keen and welcomed efforts to preserve the gains made and would continue to assist in bringing the peace that ordinary Sudanese have and still urgently yearn for.
‘In this regard, Niger, Tunisia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and South Africa welcome the efforts of the Sudanese Transitional Government as it continues to pursue political reforms, make progress in the peace process and tackle the rapidly deteriorating economic situation. Furthermore, we are also encouraged by the signing of the 29 August 2020 agreement with the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)- Minna Minawwi and SRF, and the 3 September 2020 agreement on principles that mark significant steps toward a trajectory to achieving lasting peace in Sudan,” Matsila said.
He said the four countries recognised that Sudan’s transitional government was operating amid conditions characterized by dire economic conditions, a COVID-19 pandemic as well as a tense political climate.
Matjila said the four countries, referred to as the “A3+1” at the UN, welcomed the pledges made during the Sudan Partnership Conference to assist with the socio-economic situation in Sudan. ‘We trust that this support will aide in alleviating a number of the hardships that Sudan is currently grappling with,” he added.
On the security front, Matjila said the “A3+1” welcomed the Sudanese transitional government’s efforts in working together with UNAMID – the special UN peacekeeping force – to tackle the increased levels of intercommunal violence in the country as well as the steps made towards the national plan for protecting civilians.
Matjila said: “As UNAMID draws down, the A3+1 encourages UNAMID to continue working with national and local authority stakeholders as well as the UN Country Team and other partners in protecting civilians and facilitating mediation and addressing underlying issues of access to land and resources.
“Sudan is geostrategic and shares borders with key countries in the region which are pivotal in unlocking the peace and security of the region and the whole African continent. Its therefore imperative that we continue to ensure stability in Sudan. As Chair of IGAD, Sudan is critical in building cohesion in the Horn of Africa.
“It is the considered view of Niger, Tunisia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and South Africa that the global environment remains difficult and uncertain. Thirty-two (32) Million people have been infected by COVID-19, one (1) Million have perished, all our economies have been battered.
None of us here, P5 and the elected 10 alike, could predict in September 2019 that in September 2020 we will be living in turbulent times occasioned by this pandemic. No-one. Sudan is part of this world we are talking about. So is Africa, the Caribbean, and all our countries and regions.”