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Thank you very much for your warm welcome and for your interesting explanations about the situation here.
Darfur is very well known in the western societies since the big crisis that erupted many years ago. We are still paying attention to the situation of the displaced people in the area and, in general, to the situation in Sudan as a whole.
The European Union, through its humanitarian assistance bodies, is being present in Sudan since 1994. It has been almost a quarter of a century, 25 years. Time flies. 25 years is a long, long time. We have had time to become friends and partners, to work together for the well-being of your people, in which we have invested almost €1500 million euros. Today [we invest] much less because the situation is less grave than some years ago, and now we are focusing on conflict areas, like Darfur, where the internally displaced persons and refugees are concentrated.
But we want to salute the political transition in Sudan towards a democratic country. I have been visiting the Chairman of the Sovereign Council [General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan] and the Prime Minister [of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok] in Khartoum yesterday. I shared with these high authorities our concern and our willingness to work together in order to ensure that this light of hope that Sudan represents today in Africa will go ahead.
You, honourable Wali [“Governor” of North Darfur, Malik Al Tayeb], represent this new government here in Darfur and I want to tell you that I was here in 2007 in another responsibility, also visiting Darfur in a very critical moment. I know that today the situation is much better, but we have to find a solution for the people in the camps not to stay in there forever.
The camps are becoming cities. Maybe we have to change the name of Zam Zam Camp and call it Zam Zam City, because it is already a city.
We have to continue providing services to the people gathered there, but we should also try to bring them to a normal life, working in their lands and having the capacity of developing themselves apart from the humanitarian help that they are receiving from the international community and mainly from the European Union. It is more than humanitarian help, it is also a political work in order to stabilize the region and, for that, the revolution in Sudan can be of much help.
So, we are ready to continue working with you on both sides: humanitarian one, bringing help, financial resources and technical capacities, especially on the health field; and also on the political side, trying to work for bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the whole country.
But we need to look for operational solutions towards the future in order to bring back people to a normal life and avoid that -as it has happened in many other parts of the world, [such on the cases of] Saharan refugees or Palestinian refugees- people become forever refugees.
I would like, Mr Honourable Wali, to praise the efforts of your services, police, army and also the members of the United Nation’s mission to Darfur, together with the African Union troops, to give security in the region. When I came here in 2007, it was impossible for the people in the camp to go out of the camp because women were violated and people were killed.
Today, you know, the situation is much better. Thank you for your effort. You can count on us in order to continue improving and bringing these people the normal life they deserve, as any human being.
Thank you, Honourable Wali ,thank you to all of you.
Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-185076