June 17, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s foreign minister Ali Karti urged the European Union (EU) to fulfill its commitment to support his country after the signing of a peace agreement that led to the independence of South Sudan.
The international community pledged in two donor conference held in April 2005 and May 2008 to support Sudan’s economic development with billions of American dollars following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005.
However, the promised aid has gradually been linked to the resolution of the Darfur conflict, the delayed implementation of the CPA protocols, and the South Kordofan and Blue Nile conflict of June 2012 and its humanitarian consequences.
In a meeting on Sunday with the EU special envoy to Sudan, Rosalind Marsden, Karti said the EU support to Sudan does not rise to the level of the pledges they made at the signing of the CPA or at the discussions of South Sudan post-secession arrangements.
The minister said Europe has to resume support to development projects in Sudan within the framework of Lomé convention between the European Community (EC) and 71 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries.
He further expressed Sudan’s readiness to engage in dialogue with the EU over the concerns and demands of the two sides to evolve positively in this respect.
The EU stopped a Sudan development programme after a bloodless coup d’état that led General Omar Hassan Al-Bashir to power in 1989.
However with the United States (US), Japan and China among other donors, the regional body pledged to participate in the collective effort to support Sudan as the CPA was seen as positive step towards the democratisation of the regime.
Sudanese economy has been hit by a severe crisis due to the loss of oil revenue after the independence of South Sudan in July 2011.
A donor meeting to support Sudan was cancelled earlier this year under the pressure of the US Administration which asked Khartoum to allow access for humanitarian aid groups to the areas under rebel control in the Nuba Mountains.
Some donors call for the resumption of dialogue with Sudan saying such punitive action failed to produce effective change in Khartoum’s policy and the international community have become unable to impact its decision.
Also, China which has close ties with Khartoum because of its economic investments declined several demands made by the international community to involve itself in the Sudan-South Sudan conflict over outstanding issues.
Hard liners say Khartoum does not understand other language and keeping the regime under pressure remain the best option.