Joint Statement on National Dialogue in Sudan

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 18, 2014

The members of the Troika (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway) welcome recent efforts to reinvigorate a process of genuine national dialogue in Sudan. As the country confronts a new and critical era in its history, we remain conscious of the continuing governance concerns expressed by the Sudanese people, the problems of center-periphery imbalance, and the articulation of political, economic, and social grievances, particularly in the country’s peripheries. Despite years of peacemaking attempts supported by regional and international actors, deadly conflicts persist. We recognize that the many such attempts to resolve conflict and rectify grievances at a regional level have failed to achieve a sustainable peace. We reiterate our support for a mediation architecture that facilitates both resolution of conflict and a comprehensive process of national dialogue, and thus welcome initial progress with Sudanese stakeholders to this end, under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.

In this regard, we recognize the following Principles as a basis for meaningful governance reform and lasting resolution of the conflicts in Sudan:

  • There is no military solution to the conflicts in Sudan;
  • A compartmentalized and regional approach to peacemaking cannot yield a solution to grievances that are national in character;
  • A sustainable peace and genuinely representative political system can best be achieved through a comprehensive national dialogue that addresses fundamental issues of governance, political inclusiveness, resource-sharing, identity, and social equality at a national level;
  • A comprehensive dialogue should be broadly inclusive; its exercise and outcomes should recognize and accommodate the country’s unique diversity of peoples, cultures, and religions; and such a dialogue must necessarily include the Government of Sudan, armed and unarmed opposition movements, political parties, a broad range of civil society representatives, and constituents from every region of Sudan;
  • A comprehensive dialogue can succeed only in an environment conducive to meaningful participation of all of the country’s diverse constituents, free from any restrictions to the right to assembly or the right to freedom of expression;
  • A comprehensive dialogue might best serve Sudan and its people by:
    • Upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Sudan;
    • Yielding an inclusive and participatory governance arrangement that allows all citizens and regions to participate in institutions that are democratic in nature and to benefit equitably from Sudan’s national resources;
    • Agreeing to a timeline and benchmarks for the holding of national elections, so as to ensure elections can be broadly participatory and yield legitimate and widely-recognized outcomes, and thus help to initiate a more democratic political dispensation in Sudan.