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Africa News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020


Untold suffering awaits Sudan unless it receives help - Michelle Bachelet

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday expressed serious concerns about the crisis facing Sudan's transition in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. She said that untold suffering awaits Sudan unless donors act fast.

The promise of economic and social development, democracy, justice and peace is being threatened by acute resource constraints on the transitional government of Sudan, Bachelet said.

These resource constraints are exacerbated by a combination of the practical effects of ongoing unilateral sanctions, the failure of international institutions to provide debt-relief, and a deficit of international support, she added.

"The tipping point," the UN Human Rights Chief and former Chilean president said, "could be Covid-19."

Medical sources have warned there is a serious shortage of equipment and protective gear. As of 27 April, 275 people had been tested positive with COVID-19, 22 of whom have died, and 21 recovered.

"The health system is simply not equipped to handle an outbreak on the scale we have seen elsewhere in the world. There is only one way to prevent a humanitarian disaster, and that is for the donors to step up and extend a helping hand to Sudan," said Bachelet.

"We must act swiftly and generously to provide financial support. Otherwise, we run the risk of a country which held such promise relapsing back into political instability and potential conflict. The only way Sudan will ever be able to break out of this cycle of poverty and desperation is to be freed from the impediments of sanctions imposed at the time of the previous government. This would enable Sudan to attract investment for its much-needed economic reforms, and to fully access funds of the international financial institutions," Bachelet said.

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