1 (dpa/NAN) The German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, on Tuesday pledged an additional 5.5 million dollars in humanitarian aid to support Sudan’s transition to democracy.
“In this phase, this country needs the new political leadership, the support of Germany and Europe,” Maas said in the capital Khartoum, during the first leg of a four-day Africa trip.
The pledge is in addition to 11 million dollars in humanitarian aid Germany already paid the deeply indebted East African nation this year.
Maas also promised the German Bundestag would discuss a resumption of development aid for Sudan, which was stopped during the reign of former president Omar al-Bashir, outsted in April after 30 years in power.
Maas is the first top European diplomat to visit the new leadership in the volatile nation since the April military coup.
Less than two weeks ago, the country’s new transitional government of military and civilian representatives was sworn in for a term of three years, led by Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk.
After meeting Hamduk on Tuesday, Maas also promised to support Sudan in the areas of security, economy and the organisation of the democratisation process.
“This is a long road, but we will support you on this path,” said Maas.
“We want to support the country’s new leadership in its huge task of opening up the country, enacting reforms and preparing for real democratic elections,” the German minister added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel assured Hamduk in a congratulatory letter that Germany would be “a reliable partner when it comes to securing peace and development in [Sudan], but also in the entire region.”
Maas is scheduled to continue to Congo on Tuesday evening where he is expected, among other things, to observe the UN’s MONUSCO peacekeeping mission as well as the fight against Ebola.
The epidemic has especially ravaged North Kivu province, where Maas is due to visit, over the past year. (dpa/NAN)
Edited by Fatima Sule/Grace Yussuf