High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission (HR/VP), Josep Borrell visited Sudan on 29 February and 1 March 2020. The visit underlined the EU’s strong commitment to support the democratic transition and reform agenda that is underway in Sudan since the 2019 revolution.
During his first official visit to Sudan, Josep Borrell met with Prime Minister of Sudan Abdalla Hamdok and the Chairman of the Sovereign Council General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan . In his meetings, the High Representative/Vice-President focused on the country’s political and economic transition and reforms, the opportunities to further enhance bilateral EU-Sudan relations, as well as the development and stability of the wider region.
Josep Borrell confirmed to the Sudanese authorities that the European Union remains firmly behind the historic reform process of the new civilian-led transitional government. He announced an additional support of €100 million to consolidate the democratic transition, on top of the ongoing €150 million package.
“The European Union will continue to play an active role in supporting and consolidating the political transition in Sudan, to accompany the country on its path of political and economic reforms and to continue to support the Sudanese people in their quest for democracy, peace and stability. I met many young people who were at the origin of the revolution, and they are impatient to see the peace dividends,” said Josep Borrell.
The High Representative/Vice-President also gave a keynote speech at the University of Khartoum and had an exchange of views with students. In his speech, Josep Borrell praised the visionary generation of young Sudanese, who contributed greatly to the peaceful change in the country. In the discussions, he commended the youth for their role in the revolution and encouraged the students to remain engaged in the democratic process, to ensure the future of Sudan will fulfil their ideals of peace, freedom and justice.
On the same day, an informal ministerial meeting was held in Khartoum between the High Representative/Vice-President and the Foreign Ministers of the member countries of the Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD). The meeting focused on security, stability and prosperity of the Horn of Africa. Josep Borrell reiterated the EU’s commitment to the region and the Union’s readiness to support the regional integration and to step up cooperation with IGAD and its member states.
On 1 March, HR/VP Borrell travelled to North Darfur, where he met with the local authorities. He also visited camp Zamzam, which hosts 120 000 Internally Displaced Population (IDP). When discussing with the representatives of IDPs, the High Representative/Vice-President underlined that the European Union continues to stand in solidarity with the people affected by conflict and humanitarian crisis: “For years, the EU has supported the provision of basic services to prevent a deterioration of the situation of people who were forced to leave there home due to conflict, including in Darfur. During my exchanges with the camp inhabitants, I had the opportunity to hear first-hand about the need to improve living conditions. While the situation has improved in recent years, much more has to be done. At the beginning of this year, I can already announce that the EU will provide an additional €30 million in humanitarian aid to Sudan.”
Further information on the announced humanitarian support can be found here.