Home | News    Friday 21 September 2018

Diaspora calls on UK to press for peace in Sudan through strategic dialogue

JPEG - 59.3 kb
UK Special Envoy Chris Trott poses with Sudanese diaspora groups in UK after a meeting with them on 17 September 2018 (photo ST)

September 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - In a meeting with Chris Trott UK Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan this week, Sudanese Diaspora groups and activists in the United Kingdom called to use this process to back peace and democratic reforms in Sudan.

Since March 2016, Sudanese and British senior diplomats meets twice per year to discuss issues of mutual interest. London, which is part of the Sudan South Sudan Troika group, used to include issues of peace, human rights, counter-terrorism in the agenda of the meeting besides trade and investments and recently migration.

However, the Sudanese Diaspora groups which are composed mainly of refugees expressed frustration with the developing relations with Khartoum as the British government seeks new markets after the Brexit referendum in June 2016.

In a meeting with Trott on Monday 17 September facilitated by Waging Peace which advocates for human rights and peace in Sudan, the 10-people delegation raised their concerns about closer UK-Sudan engagement, particularly through the framework of the Strategic Dialogue.

Asked by Sudan Tribune to give their impressions about the meeting, the participants said in a written statement that they appreciated the opportunity to meet Trott, pointing out that they had a "powerful" exchange with him.

"The invitation to meet with Chris Trott, UK Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, was much appreciated as many have campaigned tirelessly for years to be listened to." they said before to added "This group felt hopeful that their sustained pressure and Mr Trott’s willingness to continue to open doors for dialogue resulted in a powerful exchange".

The Sudanese Diaspora in the UK demonstrated in London on 30 June 2018, and addressed a letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May that challenged the UK government by asking ‘Who will listen to us?

The members of the delegation who represented various regions in Sudan appealed for a "greater transparency, inclusion, and also accountability, of the Dialogue to British-Sudanese communities, as well as the importance of the respect for human rights, democratic transformation, equal citizenship, and humanitarian access".

In a message posted on Twitter after the meeting, Trott said he enjoyed the discussion he had with the Sudanese Diaspora.

"I look forward to other opportunities to exchange views," he further said.

Last April, the two countries held the fifth biannual meeting of strategic dialogue in Khartoum. The upcoming meeting will be held in London next October.

(ST)