The European Union provides €30 million in humanitarian funding for vulnerable people in Sudan to help address needs in the country.
The announcement comes as the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, visited EU aid projects in El Fasher, North Darfur, one of the conflict-affected areas in Sudan. “The European Union continues to stand in solidarity with the people in need in Sudan. Our humanitarian assistance notably helps children get access to education, which is crucial to build a better future. In time of crisis, it is fundamental that our humanitarian partners can fully exercise their lifesaving job. We welcome the recent positive steps taken by the Sudanese transitional government to ensure this.”
“Helping those most in need is our priority. Our new aid package will provide food and nutritional assistance, shelter, emergency healthcare, access to clean water, and education for children caught in humanitarian crises” Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said.
The EU is a leading humanitarian donor in Sudan. Since 2011 it has allocated almost €550 million in life-saving assistance to address various humanitarian needs in the country, largely destined for the Darfur states. The new funding will also support delivery of aid in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, areas that have been cut off from international assistance for years.
The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell will travel to Ethiopia on February 27 to attend the 10th meeting of the African Union – European Union. His visit will continue with bilateral discussions with Ethiopian authorities on Friday, 28 February. Further he will then travel to Sudan, on Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1st March.
On Friday, Feburary 27 Borrell will meet the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed to reiterate the EU’s support to his political and economic reform agenda. He will also visit an EU-funded project that aims at Stemming Irregular Migration in Northern and Central Ethiopia (SINCE), as part of the EU’s concrete support in addressing economic and social challenges in the country.
On Saturday Borrell will travel to Sudan, where he is going to meet Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the Chairman of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan. There the EU dilomat will bring a message of support to the civilian transition. He will deliver a speech at the University of Khartoum, and meet with Foreign Ministers from member countries of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). On Sunday Borrell will visit a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Darfur.
The pictures of the starving lions trapped in the Sudanese Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo have made headlines around the world. Weary, malnourished lions lied on the ground in a zoo enclosure in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, their bones protruding under their skin: the disturbing images from a private zoo park posted online have evoked worldwide sympathy and moves to save them.
The emaciated lions are just a few of the many animals that are slowly starving to death there. Just last week, one of the lions passed away after months of unberable suffering.
But there is finally hope for the starving animals of Al Qurashi park zoo.The team surrounding Dr Amir Khalil arrived in Khartoum on January 27 and immediately started its vital work for the animals.
Kandanka, the lioness, has been fighting for her life for months and now she may finally stand a chance. The lion Mansour, who’s name means “Victorious” in Sudanese, is also very dehydrated but is healthy enough to be anaesthetised. He was examined with ultrasound, which showed signs of early stages of chronic kidney disease.
Four Paws vets Amir Khalil and Frank Goeritz are doing everything they can, however the rescue operation needs funds. That is why Four Paws launched worldwide call for supporting their life-saving mission in Sudan.
The images were initially shared by Sudanese activist Osman Salih earlier in January and have since been circulated widely online, sparking a campaign to try to save the lions under the hashtag #SudanAnimalRescue.
Zoo staff told Four Paws that conditions of the animals had dramatically deteriorated over the past few weeks, resulting in some of the animals losing almost two-thirds of their body weight.
Sudanese government and nine rebel groups signed an agreement on a roadmap towards ending the protracted conflict in the Darfur region.
The deal outlines different issues the parties will need to negotiate during the latest round of talks in Juba.
“We believe this is an important step,” said Ahmed Mohamed, the chief negotiator on Darfur matters from the Sudan Revolutionary Front or SRF, a coalition of nine rebel groups involved in talks with the Sudanese government.
“This step no doubt will help the process to achieve a lasting peace in Darfur and also it will enable the transitional process in Sudan to move smoothly without hindrances,” Mohamed told AFP.
Among the issues they agreed to be discussed are the root causes of the conflict, the return of refugees and internally displaced people, power sharing and the integration of rebel forces into the national army.
The deal also announces that the Sudanese government will address land issues, such as the issues of the destruction of property during the conflict.
Khartoum has been negotiating with different rebel groups in the capital of South Sudan for two weeks, in the latest round of efforts to end conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
Rebels in these areas fought violent campaigns against marginalisation by Khartoum under ousted president Omar al-Bashir.
The Darfur fighting broke out in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government.
Military rulers and the main opposition coalition of Sudan reached an agreement paving the way for a new transitional government, the African Union announced on August 3, after protracted crisis negotiations following the fall of decades long leader Omar al-Bashir (1993 -2019).
The agreement, which defines the frame of the transitional government, was mediated by the African Union and neighbouring Ethiopia in talks that were suspended several times because of street violence in Khartoum and other cities.
“The use of violence today against protesters and other civilians has led to deplorable loss of life. We express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims”, said European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson (pictured) in a statement, commenting outbreak of violence in Khartoum on June 3.
“There is no justification for the use of force to disperse the peaceful sit-in. The Transitional Military Council is accountable for security and rule of law in the country, and have the responsibility to act with restraint.
“We expect the Transitional Military Council to respect the right of people to voice peacefully their concerns, without any threat or use of violence. Any escalation of the use of violence can only derail the necessary political process and lead to a dangerous impasse, that will not respond to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Sudan.
“The priority should remain to find a swift consensus that allows a transfer of power to a civilian-led authority, as also prescribed by the African Union. Such an authority is the only partner with which EU-Sudan relations can be normalised.”
Sudanese security forces stormed a protest camp in the capital Khartoum on June 3 in the morning hours and at least nine people were reported killed in the violence outbreak.
Al Hadath and Al Jazeera television showed footage of scenes of people fleeing violence through streets of Khartoum.
The leading protest group accused the ruling military Council of an attempt to break up the camp, defining the action “a massacre”. The Council explained the security forces had targeted “unruly” groups in an adjacent area.
An alliance of protest and opposition groups announced they would halt all contact with the military Council. The two sides had been negotiating for weeks a transitional period following the overthrow of Omar Al Bashir, but without any progress.
The Transitional Military Council (TMC) had offered to let protesters form a governmental body but insists on maintaining overall authority during an interim period. The demonstrators demand the civilians to run the transitional period to ensure construction of democratic state.
After the outbreak of violence a group of medics related to the opposition said nine “martyrs” had been killed in June 3 violence and that the number of casualties was still rising.