Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (3 September) prior to his departure for the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
The Sudan is at a turning point in its history. By protesting relentlessly and peacefully, people on the streets demanded a civilian-led government. A few weeks ago, an agreement was reached between the military council and the opposition on how the future of the country is to be shaped.
I am particularly looking forward to speaking in Khartoum with representatives of the protest movement and to expressing my great admiration for them.
We want to support the new Sudanese leadership in the challenging task of opening up the country, carrying out reforms and paving the path to truly democratic elections. We want the Sudan to be able to make use of this historic opportunity and – following years of isolation – to receive the necessary support from the international community for this.
The course is also currently being set in crucial ways in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as regards its future development. I very much welcome the fact that President Tshisekedi wants to meet the Congolese people’s desire for better living conditions. He can count on our support for his reform path.
More than almost any other country in the world, however, the Democratic Republic of the Congo shows how much the international community is needed in order to overcome the impact of unresolved conflicts. Ahead of the pending extension of its mandate in the Security Council, I want to learn about the work of MONUSCO, the largest UN peace mission in the world, at first hand in my visit to Goma. I also want to find out how Germany can provide more effective help in combating the terrible Ebola epidemic.
It is also very important to me to visit the hospital run by Dr Denis Mukwege, who does invaluable work to help the victims of sexualised violence. In Resolution 2467, we brought this topic back to the attention of the Security Council. Germany will do its utmost to ensure that this resolution is implemented and that helpers like Dr Mukwege receive the support they Need.