The Sudan: a country in transition

03.09.2019 - Article

Foreign Minister Maas travelled to Khartoum yesterday. Germany wants to support the Sudan in its democratic transition.

Especially during its membership of the Security Council, Germany is committed to putting stabilisation, the promotion of democracy and humanitarian assistance in Africa on the UN Security Council agenda. During his visit to the Sudan, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wants to gain an impression of what this means for the population in concrete terms.

Population pushing for a democratic future

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visits an exhibition at the Goethe Institut about the protests in Khartoum.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visits an exhibition at the Goethe Institut about the protests in Khartoum.© Xander Heinl/photothek.net

During the first leg of his trip, the Foreign Minister is travelling to a country that is currently undergoing one of the most fascinating transition processes of our time. The country in northeast Africa has experienced decades of political unrest. In 2011, South Sudan seceded from the rest of country; major conflicts have flared up time and again also in this fledgling state. Former President Omar al‑Bashir was in power for 30 years. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against him in 2008 owing to his role in the country’s conflicts. Triggered by rising food prices and the poor economic situation, the Sudanese population took to the streets in peaceful protest. After months of protests, the Sudanese military removed the President from power in April of this year.

Since then, negotiations on the future Sudanese Government have been under way. The military council and the opposition alliance finally agreed on a transitional government consisting of the military and civilians, which is presided over by the highest government body, the Sovereign Council. Elections are to take place in the Sudan following a transitional phase of three years.

Heiko Maas will be the first Foreign Minister to meet the new Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Sovereign Council in Khartoum and exchange views with members of the peaceful protest movement. He will also visit the leadership of UNAMID, the joint UNAU peace mission for the western region of Darfur.

German support in the Sudan

Germany intends to continue to do everything in its power to support the Sudan in this phase of democratic transition with respect to stabilisation and reconciliation between the parties to the conflict. With its support for the UNAMID peace mission and mediation efforts, Germany has already made an important contribution to stabilising the conflict‑ridden western Sudanese province of Darfur. With the help of the Friends of Sudan group, Germany has supported negotiations between the military and the protest movement in recent months.

Moreover, Germany has provided humanitarian assistance for the Sudan for many years.


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