15 May, 2014
BY: AHMED ALHAJ (SITE ADMIN)
Khartoum (Sudanow) British Ambassador in Sudan Dr. Peter Tibber said the success of the National Dialogue between the government and opposition political parties will reflect a positive image of Sudan to the international community pointing out that they,
the UK, agree with the government on some issues and disagree on others. The ambassador also tackled some hot political and economic issues such as the situation in Darfur and the effects of conflicts in the state of South Sudan on Sudan’s stability as well as the bilateral relations between the two countries, following are excerpts from the interview:
Q: Mr. Ambassador, how do you see the political scene in Sudan within the context of recent political developments in the Arab World?
A: I think at the moment it is extremely interesting because of the National Dialogue and the possibility of going forward, also I think it is very challenging due to the conflict in the Two Regions and Darfur and debates between the political parties over issues of human rights.
Q: How do you assess the bilateral relations between the two countries as Sudan is becoming more open politically?
British Ambassador in Sudan Dr. Peter Tibber
Q: The UK has historically good relations with some of the opposition parties… what are the efforts the embassy is exerting to bring these parties and the ruling party together?
A: We try to encourage them to enter the dialogue, support them not necessarily from the government part only but also from the experts organizations in peace making and through programs, for example we organized and paid for programs of young people to come to UK and to arrange for political groups. It is not part of the national dialogue but it is a trial to encourage people to speak to each other.
Q: In order to prepare the ground for a successful national dialogue despite the armed conflicts in some areas… what role the UK is expected to play to convince the rebels to join the peace process?
A: We met some rebel groups, not on ministerial level, and we try to encourage them to participate, to make programme and to think about how they engage.
Q: During your recent QBD speech, you have criticized a bit the freedoms situation in Sudan and you called on the government to lift restrictions imposed on the media… how would you evaluate that?
A: I encourage the government to respect political rights which are
set up in the constitution , I think free press is very important and very good
for the society because it leads people to discuss and share information , I think it is good for the government because it will enable them to understand what people are thinking. I attended lat week the occasion of Press Freedom Day, it was distinguished day with distinguished journalists, we talked together about the situation in Sudan and we had funded some training programs to the journalists in cooperation with the Press & Publications Council.
Q: The UK has historical relations with South Sudan before and after the secession … now the new nation is witnessing mounting political tension and armed struggle … what role are you playing to bring stability to that country as its stability helps to stabilize Sudan as well?
ِA: I absolutely agree that the stability of South Sudan is important for Sudan. I think like every body we are desperately concerned about what happened in South Sudan. We have special representative in the talks of IGAD in Addis Ababa and he had meetings with them to encourage all parties to stop fighting.
Q: Do the UK and US share identical viewpoints towards Sudan issues?
A: We are very close on many international issues, identical I do not know, we are different countries and different governments but very close.
A: Economy is really great concern to everybody, to ordinary people first of all, because of hiking prices and difficulty of getting jobs. I know that many Sudanese people including the professional trained people had left the country and this is not good for the government, the national revenues is a national concern, I think it should be discussed within the context of the National Dialogue.