Thank you to all those who contacted me about the political situation in Sudan.
The violence being inflicted on the people of Sudan is heartbreaking. The Sudanese people want peace, calmness, and a full transition to civilian-led Government. These hopes have yet again been denied to them by the self-interest of military and paramilitary groups.
The immediate priority of the Government is to ensure that as many UK nationals as possible can leave quickly and safely, but we must not allow the world’s gaze to turn away from Sudan once foreign nationals have left. Sudan is at risk of lurching into deeper crisis—a crisis that its people did not make or deserve.
According to the United Nations more than 100,000 people have now fled Sudan to neighbouring countries in search of safety. The International Organization for Migration also estimates that more than 334,000 people have been displaced inside Sudan since the conflict started. I note that, even before the current crisis began, 15 million people in Sudan were reliant on humanitarian assistance. Tragically, given the recent outbreak of conflict, this figure will only increase.
The Government must make an urgent assessment on aid programmes that have been affected by the security situation and subsequent evacuations of diplomatic personnel, and outline how the UK intends to retain a meaningful presence in the country should the fighting continue.
More widely, the UK must continue to work with our regional international partners, including the African Union, to push for an immediate end to hostilities. I note that the UK has a special responsibility as the penholder for Sudan in the United Nations Security Council.
I continue to support the Sudanese people in their demands for freedom, peace and justice.