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Procedure : 2016/2911(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts tabled :

RC-B8-1062/2016

Debates :

OJ 06/10/2016 - 78
CRE 06/10/2016 - 3.2

Votes :

PV 06/10/2016 - 5.2
CRE 06/10/2016 - 5.2

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0379

Debates
Thursday, 6 October 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

3.2. Sudan
Video of the speeches
PV
 

President. The next item is the debate on seven motions for a resolution on Sudan (2016/2911(RSP)).

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao, author. – Madam President, the current issue of Sudan is taking on increasingly alarming dimensions, especially with regard to the Darfur region, where government forces have launched about thirty chemical attacks against the civilian population since the beginning of this year. The last two of these took place on 9 September, with dramatic and devastating effects; they have spared no-one.

We must immediately take measures to stop any type of attack. The Sudanese Government must ensure strict respect for human rights and freedoms of its citizens. To make this possible, it is necessary to reinforce the United Nations arms embargo and extend it to include all Sudan – not just the region of Darfur. For this purpose, we urge the Sudanese Government, this Parliament and all stakeholders to act urgently to put an end to these atrocities, allowing the necessary provision of humanitarian assistance.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID-MARIA SASSOLI
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda, Autor. – Domnule președinte, în ziua în care parlamentul nostru a decis să discutăm situația din Sudan, Amnesty International a publicat un raport despre această țară. Putem afla, citind textul, că forțele guvernamentale sudaneze au utilizat, în mod repetat, arme chimice împotriva civililor; am văzut că și colegul Corrao s-a referit la acest fapt.

Sunt acte oribile, pe care le condamnăm foarte ferm. Ele se adaugă altor încălcări serioase ale drepturilor omului și ale dreptului internațional umanitar. Reamintesc aici de utilizarea excesivă a forței împotriva civililor, de răpiri și execuții extrajudiciare, de acte de violență sexuală, de închiderea organizațiilor non guvernamentale, intimidarea minorităților religioase. Acesta este motivul pentru care textul nostru este foarte dur și propune mai multe sancțiuni.

Omar al-Bashir, pus de altfel sub acuzare pentru genocid și crime împotriva umanității de către Curtea Penală Internațională, trebuie să știe foarte clar cum vedem felul în care își tratează cetățenii.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri, Autore. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli collegi, ancora oggi il Sudan presenta uno scenario drammatico, dominato da conflitti, episodi di violenza e mancanza di tutela dei diritti umani. Il caso che ha visto coinvolti alcuni membri operatori di un traffico del TRACKS Centre, una delle poche organizzazioni ancora indipendenti che operano nel campo della società civile sudanese, ne è un esempio.

Questi attivisti, accusati di incitare una guerra contro lo Stato, reato che comporta la pena di morte, hanno subito un processo giudiziario lo scorso settembre. Il processo giudiziario e le condanne subite dagli attivisti dei diritti umani rappresentano un segnale preoccupante contro tutti coloro che operano nella società civile sudanese per la difesa dei diritti umani e delle libertà civili.

Con questa risoluzione, ancora una volta, vogliamo richiamare l'attenzione sulla preoccupante situazione di conflitto presente in Sudan e chiedere alle autorità governative che gli attivisti e i collaboratori che operano nella società civile possano svolgere appieno il loro ruolo di difensori dei diritti umani, senza essere perseguiti, senza subire condanne in contrasto con quanto prescritto dal diritto internazionale.

 
  
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  Judith Sargentini, Auteur. – President al-Bashir wordt gezocht door het Internationaal Strafhof in Den Haag vanwege misdaden tegen de menselijkheid. Maar de man reist vrijelijk door Afrika en zit vooraan bij feesten en partijen. Zuid-Afrika, Tsjaad, Uganda, Congo, Djibouti –landen die het Strafhof onderschrijven– laten hem keer op keer lopen. Dat kan niet. Hier dienen zij door onze diplomatieke diensten stevig op te worden aangesproken. Of spreken onze diplomatieke diensten met meel in de mond? Is de Europese asielcrisis nu ook al leidend voor de omgangsvormen in Khartoum?

Eind 2015 werd het project voor beter migratiebeheer gelanceerd, in het kader waarvan landen in de Hoorn van Afrika hulp en training krijgen om hun buitengrenzen beter te bewaken en in omgang met migranten. Omgang met migranten, bedoelt u die constructieve samenwerking tussen Sudan en Eritrea? Mensen die worden teruggestuurd naar Eritrea lopen ongelooflijk veel gevaar. Of bedoelen we misschien die prettige samenwerking tussen Italië en Sudan, waarbij in augustus 48 potentiële vluchtelingen werden teruggestuurd naar Sudan? U gaat mij toch niet vertellen dat na Turkije ook Sudan een veilig land is geworden?

Het blijft een gotspe dat de samenwerking tussen de Europese Unie en de Afrikaanse landen om migratie tegen te houden, genoemd is naar de hoofdstad van Sudan: het Khartoum-proces. Ik wil de Europese delegatie in Khartoum op hun woord geloven als ze zeggen dat de Sudanese “Rapid Support Forces” natuurlijk niet in opdracht van de Europese Unie de noordgrens bewaken om vluchtelingen tegen te houden. Maar ik kan me wel levendig voorstellen dat de commandant van die “Rapid Forces”, door ons getraind in migratiebeheer, dat misschien niet meer helemaal scherp heeft.

En laten we wel wezen: ook de Afghanistantop deze week laat zien dat het moeilijk is om migratiebeheer en ontwikkelingssamenwerking uit elkaar te houden. Mevrouw Mogherini zei: “Er bestaat nooit een voorwaardelijk verband tussen ontwikkelingshulp en wat wij doen op het gebied van migratie.” Daar houd ik haar aan. Daarom wordt in deze resolutie ook opgeroepen tot het verschaffen van duidelijkheid over het gebruik van de fondsen bij het “betere migratiebeheer” in Sudan. Dan helpen we dat idee uit de wereld.

 
  
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  Bas Belder, Auteur. – De islamitische wetgeving, de sharia, die Sudan vijf jaar geleden –oktober 2011– aannam, blijkt de christelijke minderheid zwaar te treffen.

Ik ben blij dat ik oud-collega commissaris Malmström voor me zie, ik ken haar als een toegewijd voormalig lid van de Commissie buitenlandse zaken en de Subcommissie mensenrechten.

Ik zou graag van de Raad en de Commissie een gedetailleerd overzicht ontvangen van hoe het nu zit met de impact van de sharia op de christenen in Sudan. Er is een buitengewoon actieve EU-delegatie, dus zou u –want ik snap dat u dat nu niet kunt geven– kunnen doorgeven dat ik daar graag een antwoord op wil? Hoe komt dit daar nu aan voor de christelijke minderheid?

Om alvast een voorschot te nemen op de vragen die bij me leven, want ik heb deze week documentatie doorgenomen voor dit debat. Bijvoorbeeld: het verwoesten van kerken is in Sudan de afgelopen jaren een normaal patroon geworden. Klopt dit beeld? Kunt u me daarover informeren, graag schriftelijk? Het Sudanese regime voert tegen christenen in Zuid-Kordofan en Blauwe Nijl een ronduit misdadig beleid van etnische en religieuze zuiveringen. Ook hierover zou ik gedetailleerde informatie op papier waarderen en bijzonder tegemoet zien.

Mevrouw Malmström, ik ken u, een vrouw van haar woord. Ik zie graag documentatie van uw zijde tegemoet, zeker nu er een speciaal persoon is –de heer Figel– die zich met godsdienstvrijheid bezighoudt. Ik zou graag geïnformeerd worden. Wat zien wij en wat doen wij?

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat, auteure. – Monsieur le Président, nous évoquons une nouvelle fois la situation dramatique du Soudan.

Cette résolution aborde un large éventail de violations des droits de l'homme perpétrées dans ce pays: bombardements permanents des populations civiles, y compris avec des armes chimiques; répression permanente de tous les opposants; atteintes à la liberté de pensée, de conscience et de religion, quelle que soit la religion concernée; violences faites aux femmes; menaces pesant sur les migrants, comme ces malheureux Érythréens arrêtés et renvoyés directement dans leur pays, au péril de leur vie, et ce, au nom de l'Union européenne; enfin, le fait que le mandat de la Cour pénale internationale contre M. Al-Bachir soit sans cesse bafoué.

Alors, je me demande bien quelle mouche a pu piquer l'Union européenne pour qu'elle décide de tenir à Khartoum, en octobre 2014, une conférence sur les routes migratoires et les États de la Corne de l'Afrique avec des représentants de tous les États membres? Le Conseil, l'ensemble des États membres et la Commission ont ainsi donné à M. Al-Bachir la reconnaissance internationale à laquelle il aspire, rendant obsolète tout soutien, voire affichant un certain mépris, pour le travail si difficile de la Cour pénale internationale.

 
  
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  Pavel Telička, author. – Madam President, ever since February 2003 and well before, we have seen in the Darfur region nothing but violence and ethnic cleansing, all done or conducted by government forces, the secret service and pro-government militia. The United Nations calls this one of the worst humanitarian crises ever, with 2.3 million displaced and 300 000 casualties. The dictatorship in Khartoum is abusing human rights on a daily basis and is preventing aid workers, NGOs, peacekeepers and others access to aid those in need. By the way, I am grateful to my colleagues that they have accepted a proposal to name concretely the aid workers concerned, including one countryman of mine. Moreover, as has been said, Amnesty International has investigated the fact that in the last eight months there has been repeated use of chemical weapons. This Sudanese situation must end. Enough is really enough.

That is why today we call on all stakeholders involved to act quickly and to put an end to this situation. Omar al-Bashir is a war criminal and, if the rest of the world does not want to act, the EU has to move and impose targeted punitive sanctions against those responsible for continued war crimes and non-cooperation with the International Court of Justice.

 
  
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  Pavel Svoboda, za skupinu PPE. – Paní předsedající, Súdán bohužel patří mezi ty státy, o nichž zde v souvislosti s lidskými právy nemluvíme poprvé. Před 15 měsíci se Evropský parlament zastal Marjam Ibráhímové, oběti súdánské náboženské netolerance, která byla následně propuštěna.

Svědky porušování lidských práv jsme však neustále. Chci proto znovu upozornit na doporučení Evropského parlamentu Radě z června 2013, že rozvojovou pomoc je třeba poskytovat pouze tam, kde je dodržována svoboda vyznání. Několikrát jsem zde zdůraznil své přesvědčení o univerzalitě lidských práv, ale dovolte mi, abych z celého usnesení zdůraznil právo na svobodu náboženského vyznání, a to v souvislosti s českým občanem Petrem Jaškem, který je již několik měsíců vězněn v Súdánu, a já zde vyzývám súdánskou vládu k jeho okamžitému propuštění.

 
  
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  Julie Ward, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, how sad it is to be standing here again talking about appalling atrocities being committed in Sudan. The use of gas, cluster bombs and rape as a weapon of war have no place in our world. These are crimes against our common humanity. I would like to pay tribute to all of the brave human rights defenders and activists, and civil society organisations and networks, who risk their lives on the ground in order to let the world know what is happening. We want to stand here in solidarity with you and give you a voice. I am eternally grateful to the British organisation ‘Waging Peace’ with whom I am in regular contact. What we must do as MEPs is to make sure that no EU aid money is funnelled to actors committing these terrible crimes, and also that the EU does not compromise on human rights protections when doing deals on migration in the region, including the Khartoum Agreement. We continue to work to hold the Commission, the EEAS and the Council to account on this, day and night.

 
  
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  Mark Demesmaeker, namens de ECR-Fractie. – We zijn moreel verplicht om het gebruik van massavernietigingswapens luid en duidelijk te veroordelen, uit te bannen. Altijd en overal, en in het bijzonder het gebruik van chemische wapens. Het is een oorlogsmisdaad, een misdaad tegen de menselijkheid, een inbreuk op het internationaal recht.

Amnesty International heeft een goed gedocumenteerd verslag met getuigenissen en fotobewijzen van het gebruik van chemische wapens in Sudan, gericht tegen burgers, in een afgelegen gebied in Darfur. Met honderden slachtoffers, onder hen ook veel kinderen.

In Sudan, net als in de rest van de wereld, hebben burgers recht op bescherming. De internationale gemeenschap moet daartoe al haar hefbomen gebruiken. Ook om te voorzien in de toegang tot humanitaire hulp, om te zorgen voor ontwapening.

Vandaag de dag vinden dezelfde oorlogsmisdaden plaats in Darfur als in 2004. Toen schrok de wereld wakker van de mensenrechtenschendingen. Het enige dat sindsdien is veranderd, is dat de wereld niet meer toekijkt. Dat is het echte drama. Aan ons en aan u, commissaris, om dat te veranderen.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans, namens de ALDE-Fractie. – Sudan wordt geteisterd door heel veel plagen. Ik denk dat iedereen ze hier vandaag al heeft opgesomd. Daarenboven wordt het land sinds 1989 gegijzeld door een regeringsleider die zijn volk onderdrukt en terroriseert. Er is geen persvrijheid en het internetverkeer wordt sterk beknot.

Het is dezelfde regering die vorige week chemische wapens in Darfur dropte, waardoor vele mensen, vele kinderen het leven lieten.

Europa heeft sinds 2010 196 miljoen euro aan Sudan gegeven en via het noodtrustfronds voor Afrika is vanaf 2016 nog eens 100 miljoen euro toegekend. Het is een schande dat we een regering financieel blijven ondersteunen terwijl vrouwen worden verkracht en chemische wapens worden ingezet.

Ik roep u daarom vandaag op: geef een krachtig Europees signaal, stop de financiële stromen richting een regering die mensenrechten zo met de voeten treedt. Het is tijd voor een sterk Europees signaal.

 
  
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  Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. – Señor Presidente, en primer lugar, nuestra condena a la violencia, las masacres y la represión sobre la población en Sudán. En segundo lugar, pedir a la Unión Europea un esfuerzo real para parar el saqueo de África. Porque sabemos que detrás de estos conflictos, normalmente, siempre hay intereses de las grandes corporaciones y de las potencias occidentales, ya sea acaparación de tierras, ya sea petróleo, ya sean minerales y, también, lógicamente, detrás está el negocio de la venta de armas.

Por eso, señora Comisaria, le pedimos que pongan todas las medidas a su alcance para parar el saqueo de África, para parar la venta de armas, y que permitan a los pueblos de África que puedan desarrollarse, mejorar la calidad de vida de sus habitantes y alcanzar la paz.

 
  
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  James Carver, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, Sudan’s partition into two states was supposed to end decades of conflict blighting that country. However, this has unfortunately not proved to be the case with both countries still suffering the acrimony from internal conflict and persisting border disputes.

The international community must do more to support the two countries working with both Sudan and South Sudan, and, of course, the regional institutions, to help resolve the border dispute and improve human rights in terms of security and personal dignity in both countries.

The immediate humanitarian and security situation must be addressed and combined with genuine longer—term solutions. Most pressing is the issue of the removal of punitive tariffs placed on trade. The liberalisation of these rules will not only do far more to support development and the chronic needs and daily lives of people in Sudan, South Sudan, and indeed Africa as a whole, but will also help our own citizens through cheaper food and freeing up money which would otherwise go on foreign aid, which is not always ending up where it aims to be sent.

The Horn of Africa is a tragedy, but there are some good parts of it not – not least Somaliland and I, as you know, am a long-time advocate of support of international re-recognition of Somaliland. I do not think that the issue of Sudan and South Sudan needs to be a precursor or a hurdle to the genuine aspirations of people in a different part of the Horn of Africa who have led a far different, and a far more peaceful and dignified, example.

 
  
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  Edouard Ferrand, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs, une nouvelle tragédie menace le monde. Les récents soupçons d'utilisation d'armes chimiques par le régime de Khartoum montrent que le régime soudanais est un véritable État voyou, fourrier de premier plan de l'islamisme radical. Je suis heureux de voir, ici, l'unanimité de mes collègues. Depuis Al-Tourabi jusqu'à Al-Bachir, ce régime s'est signalé par ses menées génocidaires contre les populations chrétienne et animiste, ainsi que contre les minorités du Darfour.

Quoi qu'il advienne des enquêtes sur les armes chimiques, il faut mettre au ban des nations civilisées ce régime qui fut, faut-il le rappeler, l'un des refuges de Ben Laden et un des groupes islamistes les plus radicaux.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Hetman (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Sytuacja w Sudanie od wielu lat już pozostaje szczególnie ciężka. Trzy miliony osób w związku z konfliktem były zmuszone do opuszczenia swoich domów, setki tysięcy osób straciło życie, poziom niedożywienia jest poniżej stanów alarmowych, zaś ponad 6,5 mln osób potrzebuje różnych form pomocy humanitarnej. W kwietniu Komisja Europejska zdecydowała o przekazaniu dodatkowej pomocy w wysokości 100 mln EUR na poprawę warunków życia Sudańczyków. Zgadzam się, że ta pomoc jest zasadna i bardzo potrzebna. Niestety jednak ogromnym problemem pozostaje kwestia samego dotarcia do osób potrzebujących z uwagi na fakt celowego blokowania dostępu do najbardziej dotkniętych regionów. Uważam zatem, że Unia Europejska powinna w sposób zdecydowany potępić tego typu działalność i stanowczo sprzeciwiać się łamaniu międzynarodowego prawa humanitarnego, jak również domagać się ukarania winnych zbrodni przeciwko ludności cywilnej.

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (ECR). – Domnule președinte, regiunea Darfur din Sudan se află în cea mai gravă criză umanitară din lume. Peste trei milioane de oameni au nevoie de ajutor umanitar, ei sunt bolnavi, nu au hrană și cei mai mulți sunt strămutați intern. În plus, guvernul din Sudan a folosit arme chimice omorând oameni - peste 200 de oameni numai în 2016 - și majoritatea dintre aceștia sunt copii.

Știm cu toții că folosirea armelor chimice este o crimă de război. Potrivit Amnesty International au fost peste 300 de atacuri cu arme chimice numai în 2016, ultimul pe 9 septembrie 2016. În plus, activiștii pentru drepturile omului sunt închiși, reprezentanții bisericii creștine din Sudan sunt închiși și toate acestea fac ca regiunea Darfur din Sudan și Sudanul să fie practic o dictatură și o zonă în care oamenii mor de foame, mor atacați cu arme chimice.

Cer de urgență oprirea atacurilor criminale și eliberarea celor închiși din motive politice.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (ALDE). – Mr President, reports on the use of chemical weapons are extremely disturbing. The use of such weapons must be investigated by the United Nations and perpetrators must be brought to justice. The situation in Darfur, in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, is deplorable. The innocent killings must stop immediately. The UN-African Union mission must be given access to these areas and humanitarian aid made accessible in this humanitarian disaster. President al-Bashir must be arrested, as foreseen by the International Criminal Court. Those States that gladly greet al-Bashir in their countries, despite the fact that he is wanted by the ICC, must keep in mind that they bear part of the responsibility for the atrocities that are going on in Sudan, by greeting al—Bashir and not allowing for his arrest.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch-the-eye"

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, από το 1989 και έπειτα, όταν ο Omar al-Bashir κατέλαβε με πραξικόπημα την εξουσία στο Σουδάν, η χώρα έχει τεθεί υπό αυταρχικό καθεστώς και οι συγκρούσεις στο εσωτερικό της έχουν πολλαπλασιαστεί, με αποτέλεσμα χιλιάδες θανάτους και εκατομμύρια εκτοπισμένους και πρόσφυγες. Παράλληλα, από το 2003 και έπειτα, οι συγκρούσεις στο Darfur είχαν αποτέλεσμα περισσότερους από 300.000 νεκρούς ενώ, σύμφωνα με στοιχεία της Διεθνούς Αμνηστίας, έχουν πεθάνει εκατοντάδες παιδιά από τις χημικές ουσίες με τις οποίες βομβαρδίζει η κυβέρνηση του Σουδάν την περιοχή. Επιπλέον, η ανελευθερία του τύπου και των μέσων ενημέρωσης επιδεινώνεται ενώ συχνές είναι οι ποινικές διώξεις σε βάρος δημοσιογράφων.

Είναι επομένως αναγκαίο να δοθεί ένα τέρμα σε κάθε μορφή βίας, καταστολής και παραβίασης των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στο Σουδάν, καθώς επίσης και στους βομβαρδισμούς του άμαχου πληθυσμού με χρήση χημικών όπλων. Παράλληλα, θα πρέπει να υπάρξει χρηματοδοτική στήριξη όλων των ανθρωπιστικών οργανώσεων από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση ώστε να παρέχονται τρόφιμα και υγειονομική περίθαλψη στον πληθυσμό και θα πρέπει επίσης να καταδικαστούν οι ένοπλες συγκρούσεις που λαμβάνουν χώρα στην περιοχή.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Pane předsedající, podporuji usnesení týkající se porušování lidských práv a vlády práva Súdánu. Považuji za velmi důležité, že zde uvádíme konkrétní případy zadržení místních kněží a humanitárních pracovníků. Mezi nimi je také občan České republiky Petr Jašek. Tyto osoby v Súdánu pomáhaly místním obyvatelům v oblastech sužovaných vojenskými diktaturami, vojenskými konflikty a následně byly netolerantním súdánským režimem obviněny z protistátní činnosti. Čeká je nyní soud a jejich život je ohrožen. Tito lidé denně pomáhali v nebezpečných oblastech humanitární prací místním obyvatelům a dávali jim naději na lepší život.

Nyní je na nás, abychom se postavili nejen za jejich úsilí, ale také za ně samotné a apelovali na súdánské úřady, aby osud těchto dobrovolníků byl lepší, a abychom apelovali v tom smyslu, že nám není lhostejný. Chceme jejich propuštění. A já žádám také Vás, paní komisařko, abyste se zasadila o jejich propuštění.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la situazione in Sudan è molto difficile. Il paese è sconvolto dalle recenti violenze tra i sostenitori del presidente Salva Kiir e quelli dell'ex vicepresidente Riek Machar. Amnesty International ha denunciato che quest'anno il governo sudanese avrebbe addirittura condotto attacchi con armi chimiche contro la popolazione civile. Alle violenze si aggiunge una drammatica carestia. Sarebbero almeno cinque milioni le persone che sono alla fame. La crisi politica lascia in una condizione di forte instabilità e di violenza l'intero paese. Una situazione dolorosissima e molto complessa che ha radici lontane: la guerra, l'intreccio di interessi internazionali e di lotte tribali per il potere locale ed altro. Tutto questo a spese della popolazione civile. È ora che l'Unione europea e la comunità internazionale esercitino tutta la loro pressione per avviare anche una transizione politica o di apertura del paese alle norme democratiche, unico modo per aiutare la popolazione sudanese e anche quella del Darfur ad uscire dall'attuale stato di sottosviluppo e di sofferenza.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já bych se chtěl rovněž vyjádřit ve prospěch občanů, kteří jsou zadržováni v Súdánu, je to mimo jiné samozřejmě i český občan, o kterém hovořila kolegyně Šojdrová. Paní komisařko, prosím, zasaďte se o propuštění těchto lidí.

Nicméně pokud se podíváme na situaci v Súdánu v jakémsi větším rozhledu, tak zde vidíme nejen humanitární katastrofu, nejen porušování základních lidských práv, ale vidíme zde samozřejmě i zneužívání té pomoci, která je doručována. A to je do jisté míry určitým politickým střetem, protože na jedné straně chceme pomáhat těm extrémně chudým občanům, jejichž život záleží právě na této pomoci, a vedle toho vidíme právě toto zneužití.

Myslím si, že bychom se měli snažit podporovat konkrétní projekty, které například vedou k větším inovacím v zemědělství právě v této oblasti, pokud je to alespoň trochu možné, protože ty pomohou řešit situaci na místě samém.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, this is not the first time we are discussing Sudan in this plenary, and of course we see with very much concern that the human rights situation in Sudan has shown no sign of improvement and is, in fact, deteriorating. Serious human rights violations have been perpetrated by state actors, government—supported militia and rebel forces in impunity. These happened with serious disregard for Sudan’s interim constitutions of 2005, international commitments or recommendations presented by the Human Rights Council.

International and local civil society organisations in Sudan face severe obstructions in their work, in particular those working on human rights issues and in conflict-affected areas. One of these organisations is the one you referred to, TRACKs, a human rights organisation which provides and facilitates training on a variety of topics, ranging from human rights to information technology. Currently ten members or affiliates of the TRACKs staff, including its Director, Khalafalla Alafif Mukhtar, who has been in detention since May, are facing trial in two separate cases under Sudan’s criminal court and these carry – as you also mentioned – the death penalty.

The EU considers that the repeated official raids and summoning of staff on judicial charges are in violation of freedom of expression and association and appear to be a clear attempt to intimidate the members of the organisations due to their work on human rights or democratisation. Accordingly, we have closely followed developments on the TRACKs case and we have observed several court sessions. It is coordinating with the different EU Member States and other Western embassies on the ground to ensure a continuous international presence throughout the trials on a rotation basis. This case is, of course, also continuously raised in meetings with Sudanese officials.

Overall, promoting a conducive environment for civil society and the protection of human right defenders are key issues in EU relations with Sudan. We have the EU country map for engagement of civil society and the human rights and democracy strategy for Sudan. However, UN agencies and humanitarian partners keep being denied access to so many areas in Darfur, in South Kordofan and Blue Nile by government authorities, preventing the delivery of assistance which is so needed to the vulnerable population. We have, in the EU, been at the forefront of calling for a speedy agreement on cessation of hostilities, humanitarian taxes and an inclusive, comprehensive and transparent national dialogue process in a conducive environment.

Efforts towards peace and human rights remain a priority for the EU. The EU, in particular through our Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Mr Alexander Rondos, supports efforts towards a holistic and inclusive political solution. Political and financial support was provided to the mediation efforts led by President Mbeki, in the framework of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan. We consider that the gravity of the human rights situation requires continued attention from the UNHCR and therefore we have supported the extension of the mandate of the independent experts on Sudan, while pushing strongly for his full access to all areas of the country.

Our commitments to enhance cooperation with African countries on migration is firmly anchored within international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and EU assistance to Sudan is delivered at bilateral and regional levels through international organisations and NGOs, not through that Sudanese Government. No support has ever been given to the rapid support forces, and we are aware of the specific situation of the Christian minorities and are looking into that. There have recently been some arrests of pastors and we are following those cases on the ground as well. The EU will continue to call for the government to respect freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and the media, to release the detainees and to give them an opportunity for fair trial and to conduct credible investigations into human rights violations that led to killing, injuries and material damage. I am sure this is not going to be the last time we discuss the terrible situation in Sudan.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà al termine della discussione.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD), per iscritto. – Oggi noi denunciamo l'utilizzo di armi chimiche contro i civili nella regione del Jebel Marra, nel Darfur, da parte del governo sudanese e sottolinea che si tratta di una grave violazione delle norme internazionali nonché di un crimine di guerra; condanniamo altresì ogni altra forma di violazione dei diritti umani fondamentali perpetrata dal governo sudanese e dalle forze di opposizione nei confronti di attivisti, giornalisti e portavoce della società civile.

L'UE e i suoi Stati membri devono portare avanti il loro impegno a sostenere gli sforzi dell'Unione africana per portare la pace in Sudan e al popolo sudanese nella transizione verso una democrazia riformata dall'interno.

 
Last updated: 30 January 2017Legal notice