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Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

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Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

Post by Mazy on Wed Jan 15 2014, 00:18

5th January, 2014
Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan
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There are many strong connections between our two countries. We have a long historical relationship and Sudan remains an important country for the UK – a more important reason for making my first visit as Minister for Africa.

The visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can work with Sudan to help end conflict, promote prosperity and build democracy. Achieving this will be good for Sudan, good for the UK’s relationship with Sudan and good for the prosperity and stability of the wider region.

Ending Conflict
When South Sudan was declared independent on 9 July 2011 the British Foreign Secretary William Hague congratulated both Sudan and South Sudan, saying that the achievement represented a “triumph of peaceful negotiation over conflict and adversity”. Since July 2011 the UK has continued to support the African Union High Implementation Panel’s efforts to broker, and implement, agreements on outstanding issues between the two countries. And one of the themes of my visit will be to encourage resolution of conflicts through negotiations.

In the last few months of 2013 I was encouraged by the significant improvement in the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan. Recent events in South Sudan are deeply concerning, and are an understandable cause of great concern here in Sudan. But I welcome the constructive role that Sudan has played in encouraging both sides to engage with the IGAD mediation efforts.

I hope that the dialogue between the Government and the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) will resume soon. Military offensives by either side can only undermine the chances of peace in Southern Kordofan or Blue Nile. Last year was a bad year for Darfur - conflict increased and 450,000 people were forced to leave their homes as a result. As members of the Implementation Follow-Up Committee overseeing the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, the UK calls for serious engagement by all sides, including the rebel groups which have yet to sign the DDPD, to find a peaceful settlement in Darfur.

The UK is one of the biggest donors in Sudan, helping to provide some protection from the immediate impact of conflict. We provide humanitarian support to those in greatest need, in particular in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. In November we announced an additional £19 million for the World Food Programme to help them respond to the increased needs in Darfur, bringing our total humanitarian contribution to over £30 million over the year.

As well as providing life-saving humanitarian support, we recognise the need for longer term, sustainable support. That is why we are funding programmes which can help to build the resilience of communities in the East of Sudan and Darfur.

These aim to reduce dependency on food aid and to increase communities’ resilience to natural or man-made shocks, like periods of drought. We are also improving access to the basic services necessary for long term development. The largest of our new development programmes will provide 500,000 people in the East of Sudan with sustainable access to water and sanitation.

Promoting Prosperity
The secession of South Sudan had an immense economic impact on Sudan. This has been compounded by problems of economic mismanagement, uneven distribution of resources and corruption. The Government knows it needs to tackle these issues and is working towards an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Yet Sudan has great potential too - it has water, agriculture, minerals, wonderful archaeological sites, and above all the Sudanese people. We are trying to support Sudan to develop its potential, and provide jobs and better livelihoods to its people. We plan, for example, to help build the strength of the private sector with a programme aimed at improving small-holders ability to export.

We have also worked with the Sudanese private sector and TV to launch the innovative and exciting programme ‘Mashrooy’, which promotes entrepreneurship among Sudan’s young business community. I’m told it’s both gripping human drama and an opportunity for young business people to bid for mentoring and support for new ideas, and I look forward to visiting the programme this week.

The British Council is helping thousands of Sudanese to learn, or improve their, English. The demand is huge. So the Council is not just teaching students, it is also training teachers, some 900 in the last two years. This is a great investment that also helps bring our people closer together.

Building Democracy
President Bashir has spoken a number of times of the need for a National Dialogue and a new constitution. I welcome this and hope the UK can support the process. Success will require building an environment in which people feel free to express their political views, to organise, meet and write without fear of repercussions. As I made clear at the time, the events of September came as a shock and have set back this process.

We want to help build that open and diverse political society that the Sudanese say they want. The Embassy is running a training programme to help build capacity and confidence in the Sudanese Media as part of this. We are also helping to establish a Human Rights centre in the Faculty of Law in Khartoum University. And we are looking to scale up our support to civil society.
My visit will give me the opportunity to see Sudan for myself and to engage with a wide range of Sudanese people, both inside Government and outside, on these important issues.

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Mazy
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Re: Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

Post by it's me on Wed Jan 15 2014, 05:43

I hope that will make some change

I read that this journalist
Ryszard Kapuściński
wrote many interesting books about African people

searching the roots of such situation

most if all in book Heban

I will search more

it's me
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Re: Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

Post by it's me on Wed Jan 15 2014, 05:59

and btw
Anthropologists say Africa is the cradle of human race.

it's me
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Re: Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

Post by Mazy on Wed Jan 15 2014, 15:30

it's me wrote:and btw
Anthropologists say Africa is the cradle of human race.

Yes I've heard that before, thanks IM for the information about the writer.

Mazy
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Re: Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Jan 15 2014, 17:41

Excellent article, and I really hope that the Foreign Office Minister gives equal opoprtunities in educational backing to similar organisations in South Sudan, and that Khartoum are not the only ones to benefit, given their government's track record!

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Re: Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

Post by Mazy on Thu Jan 16 2014, 18:34

Khartoum Played a Constructive Role in S. Sudan's Ongoing Conflict, Says UK Minister
14 JANUARY 2014

Khartoum — The United Kingdom Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, has welcomed the constructive role that Sudan played in the wake of the recent South Sudan conflict that broke out last month saying that UK supports efforts aimed at reaching a ceasefire in Southern Sudan.

Simmonds, who arrived in Khartoum in an official visit on Tuesday, discussed with Sudan's foreign minister, Ali Karti, bilateral relations as well as regional issues of mutual interest particularly developments of the situation in South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Somalia.

The meeting also discussed the role which could be played by the UK in cancelling Sudan's foreign debts in light of Khartoum and Juba's agreement to work together towards achieving that objective and Sudan's fulfillment of conditions for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

The British minister said, in a message on Twitter following the meeting, that he held a good meeting with Karti on supporting a settlement in South Sudan and with Sudan, asserting that peace needs dialogue not military action.

He further stressed that his government is keen on establishing solid relations with Sudan based on the strong historical ties between the two countries, pointing to the recent positive developments in the cultural and academic cooperation between Sudan and UK.

Simmonds expressed appreciation to Khartoum's positive role in rebuilding state apparatus in Somalia, saying that UK government is willing to cooperate with Sudan on those efforts.

Karti, for his part, stressed Sudan is keen on stability and peace in South Sudan, renewing commitment to implement cooperation agreements signed between the two countries.

In September of 2012, both Sudan and South Sudan signed a series of cooperation agreements, which covered oil, citizenship rights, security issues, banking, border trade among others.

Last March, the two countries signed an implementation matrix for these cooperation agreements.

He also pointed to recent visits of South Sudan's ministers of foreign affairs and petroleum to Khartoum, mentioning that Sudan opened its borders to refugees fleeing the armed conflict and continues to provide humanitarian assistance to South Sudan.

The British minister also discussed with the head of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani Al-Sissi, the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) and the non-signatory rebel groups besides the role of the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Both sides have agreed on the need to continue supporting development efforts in the region.

Last November, Karti blasted Britain's stances towards his country saying that London had demonstrated hostility towards Khartoum in all forums and had backed all negative decisions and sanctions committees.

He stressed that the UK arranged for UNSC resolution 1706 which sought to put Darfur under the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping forces, as well as UNSC resolution 1593 which referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He affirmed that the Sudanese government supports closer ties with London but said Khartoum has yet to see any signs for rapprochement in the UK's official policies, legislations or organizations.

The top Sudanese diplomat added that one state minister at the UK foreign ministry, in reference to Simmonds, proclaimed himself a speaker on behalf of the ICC concerning president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir's visit to Saudi Arabia for the Mecca pilgrimage.

Bashir is sought by the ICC for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes he allegedly masterminded in Sudan's western region of Darfur.


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Re: Foreign Office Minister for Africa Visit to Sudan

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