The UK Foreign Office has been accused of ignoring repeated warnings from Sudanese groups and western experts that Sudan was teetering on the brink of a conflict that would lead to mass atrocities and identity-based crimes. In a letter sent to the Africa minister, Andrew Mitchell, released on Tuesday, the UK Atrocity Prevention Working Group, which encompasses a variety of charities and civil society organisations, said the Foreign Office had pursued an over-optimistic agenda of “democracy first” in Sudan. The letter says the Foreign Office failed to heed repeated written warnings that the UK’s systems, capabilities and policies towards Sudan lacked a focus on atrocity prevention. The signatories point to warnings as far back as 2019 that a rush to elections without commensurate democratic institutions in Sudan following the revolution that toppled the longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir risked repeating mistakes in Myanmar, where premature assumptions were made about disarmament and preparedness for genuine representative institutions.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN