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Canada-Sudan Relations

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Diplomatic relations and official representation

Canada has an embassy in Khartoum whose staff is focused on policy issues relating to Darfur and the transitional areas, relations between Sudan and South Sudan, and human rights. Responsibility for visa and immigration services for residents of Sudan is handled by the Embassy of Canada in Egypt. In Canada, the Republic of Sudan is represented by an embassy in Ottawa.

Bilateral relations

Canada is part of a concerted international effort to support a just and lasting peace across Sudan. Canada takes every appropriate opportunity to promote Canada's foreign policy priorities of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and to raise its concerns for the humanitarian and security situation in Sudan.

Improved bilateral relations between Canada and Sudan are contingent on the Government of Sudan’s willingness to take steps toward maintaining a peaceful relationship with the Republic of South Sudan and its other neighbours, resolving peacefully the ongoing violent conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and improving the overall human rights situation across the country.It is critical that the Government of Sudan fully implement existing agreements and commit to ceasefires, the protection of civilians, and, most critically, full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

From the early 1990s, Canada worked with other countries to support and strengthen the Sudan peace process between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. This process led to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9, 2005, ending over two decades of civil war, and reached its conclusion on July 9, 2011, with the independence of South Sudan. Canada was an active international partner throughout the Darfur Peace Process in Doha, Qatar, which led to a preliminary peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and one Darfur rebel group in July 2011. Canada now serves on the agreement’s Implementation Follow-up Commission. Since May 2013, Canada has co-chaired with the EU the International Partners Forum on human rights. With a membership made of representatives of diplomatic missions to Sudan, the IPF aims to facilitate and enhance a constructive dialogue between its members and the Government of Sudan on human rights issues, share information between its members, and define common positions if so decided. Key interlocutors include the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Human Rights Commission, and civil society organisations.

Canada supports both United Nations peacekeeping operations in Sudan: the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). These efforts contribute to the protection of civilians affected by conflict, the improvement of the security situation for all the Sudanese peoples, and enhancement of peace and stability in the Abyei area.

Development and humanitarian assistance

Humanitarian needs in Sudan continue to be driven by a series of inter-related trends, including: conflict, insecurity, and displacement; poverty and socioeconomic conditions; governance and institutional capacity; and environmental hazards.  As a result of these trends, it is estimated that over 6.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance throughout Sudan in 2014, an increase of 1.7 million compared to 2013. In Darfur, continued fighting between the government and armed opposition groups has maintained large-scale protracted displacement, while inter-tribal fighting has resulted in 450,000 people displaced. In addition, there are still an estimated 1.7 million people living in internally displaced camps in the Darfur region. Despite reports of returns in some areas, those who have returned to their villages lack basic services, such as water, sanitation, and health care. Elsewhere, fighting between the Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states has continued, resulting in increased displacement and affecting over 1.2 million people. Humanitarian access for humanitarian partners continues to be severely limited. In addition to ongoing conflict, natural hazards are common, and flooding affected some 500,000 people across the country in 2013.  In 2013, Canada provided over $12 million in support to humanitarian organizations to meet the needs of people affected by crises and food insecurity in Sudan.  Canada’s development programming in Sudan has also focussed on children and youth and food security. Canada has also provided support to civil society organizations to promote respect for human rights, gender equality, and people-to-people cooperation.

Trade

Canada has implemented a number of national measures against Sudan in response to the government’s role in the country’s conflicts, and in support of Canada’s policy for peace in this country. These measures include withholding commercial support services, including export finance and trade and investment development activities, and government-to-government development cooperation. In addition, Canada has implemented in Canadian domestic law the sanctions mandated by the United Nations Security Council, including an arms embargo as well as an asset freeze and travel ban directed against designated persons.

June 2014


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Date Modified:
2014-06-13