13th May 2021


Right of Reply: The EU and Sudan

  • EU Commission HQ, the Berlaymont building (Photo: European Commission)

Dear Editor,

Concerning the opinion article Sudan asylum decision signals Dutch moral collapse, written by Chris Klein and published on the 24 August in your online newspaper, we would like to rebut statements made in this article and signal that it contains factual mistakes and misleading statements about the use of EU funds in Sudan.

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The article, namely, affirms that EU money has been used to halt migration by channelling funds to the RSF for border controls.

In light of this, we would like to call to your attention the fact that this piece is spreading false information on the use of EU funds in Sudan.

Please find our clarification below:

• The civilian-led transitional government of Sudan is the first government in Sudan to receive EU funds, in a technical assistance modality.

• The EU did not provide any financial support to the Government of Sudan during Omar al-Bashir's regime. The same applies to the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of the Sudanese military.

• All EU-funded activities in Sudan are implemented by EU member states development agencies, UN, international organisations and NGOs who are closely scrutinised through strict and regular monitoring during projects' implementation.

• Furthermore, EU's implementing partners exert strict control over the funds disbursed and are closely scrutinised by the EU Delegation through close and regular monitoring.

• The main beneficiaries of EU support are vulnerable populations in peripheral areas of the country and in Khartoum, in particular refugees, IDPs, returnees, the local communities hosting them, and migrants.

• Under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), both the BMM programme and the Regional Operational Centre (ROCK) have been working with the ministry of interior of the beneficiary countries, including police and civil servants in charge of checking and verifying administrative documents of people, vehicles and goods. Please note the difference between border control and border security. Border control relates to control and verification of administrative documents for people, vehicles and goods. Border security relates to physical patrols. The latter are military missions and the EU is not involved and does not support them.

• The Rapid Support Forces, being part of the military, do not benefit from any kind of EU support. The EU does not train or provide any support to the military or militias.

More detailed information can be found here.

Best regards

Gesine Knolle

Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, EU Commission


The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

Sudan asylum decision signals Dutch moral collapse

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