Government respond to the EU and Sudan Report

12 September 2011

The Government responded to the Sub-Committee's report "On the Brink of Change: the EU and Sudan" on 28 August 2011.

The Committee's main conclusions were:

• The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the holding of the January
2011 independence referendum in the South were major achievements.
• Major challenges remain for North and South Sudan.  The risk that the new country of South Sudan will fail as a state is high, even if the international community maintains the current levels of assistance and support.
• The EU does not need to be in the lead among international organisations to make an important contribution to North and South Sudan.  As a priority it must join with the international community to press the parties to resolve outstanding disputes, notably the inflammatory situation in Abyei.   Urgent attention is also needed on Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile State, debt, borders and citizenship and the key issue of the distribution of revenues from oil.
• The EU must continue its development aid to the North despite the difficulties and press the leadership to support the establishment of the South as a successful independent state.
• The EU’s key role in the South is to work with other international organisations to build the administrative structures necessary to sustain a sovereign state, especially to enable it to absorb the international assistance on offer.  Corruption must be tackled, and transparency in the economic and financial sectors improved to help ensure that the South’s oil wealth is put to work for its people.
• The EU must support efforts to resolve the potentially destabilising problem of militias in the South and continue its aid programmes in coordination with others.  There is a potential leadership role for the EU in the development of the justice sector.
• The EU’s role in the South is a test case for the European External Action Service.  The EU has not yet built up its presence in Juba sufficiently or quickly enough and must appoint an effective Head of Delegation with relevant experience.
• The EU and Member States must be prepared to invest time, finance and practical resources in South Sudan for the foreseeable future.  Member States should coordinate their acts of recognition.

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