Minister Andrews raises concerns about human rights situation in Sudan
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews TD and the Minister of State, Liz O'Donnell TD, met this morning in Iveagh House with Dr. Mustafa Ismail Osman, the Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of Sudan. "The meeting allowed us to pursue the desire of the Irish Government and people to assist in addressing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan and to bring about a lasting, inclusive peace for all its people".
The Minister raised the need to extend the humanitarian access facilitated by the cease-fire around Bar El Ghazahl, which is due to expire later this week. He assured Minister Mustafa that Ireland will continue to respond generously to humanitarian needs in Sudan. Minister Mustafa gave a full briefing on the comprehensive cease-fire recently declared by President Bashir and expressed the hope that the rebel side would avail of this opportunity for peace.
The Ministers discussed the IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) -sponsored peace talks, which have been jeopardised by the recent killings of participants in the Red Cross Mission in Panyang. "Along with our EU partners we have strongly condemned these recent killings. I have urged Minister Mustafa and his Government to do everything possible to keep the talks process on schedule" said Minister Andrews.
Ireland actively supports the IGAD peace efforts through its participation in the IGAD Partners' Forum. "At the Forum's last meeting on 10 March, we adopted a package of practical measures aimed at mounting a concentrated, coordinated and continuous mediation effort. I discussed this package with Minister Mustafa today with a view to placing the current peace efforts on a more regular footing and ensuring that incremental progress may be achieved".
The Minister raised the Government's ongoing concerns about human rights in Sudan and urged Minister Mustafa and his authorities to make every appropriate effort to address the violations reported by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights as a matter of urgency.
The Minister also raised the cases of Fathers Leno Sebit and Hilary Boma and their co-accused, and urged that their cases be conducted in accordance with international standards of human rights and justice.