Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has called for the Irish government to suspend financial support to the Khartoum Process and to eventually remove Ireland from it altogether.

The Khartoum Process is part of the EU Trust Fund for Africa. It was created as a platform for political cooperation on migration between the countries in the Horn of Africa and Europe, but it has been led to the capture, and in some cases the torture of, refugees and migrants.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I have been consistent in my criticism of the EU Trust Fund for Africa. It is a short-term measure designed by the EU to prevent refugees and other migrants from Africa arriving in Europe.

“The EU Trust Fund does not tackle the humanitarian issues that are forcing people from their homes and pushing them towards sanctuary in Europe. It doesn’t try to end conflicts or to tackle poverty, inequality, corruption, climate change, human rights abuses, and food insecurity. Instead it has set up a huge transfer of funds from the EU to security services of African countries.

“In Sudan for example this has led to the EU supporting the Rapid Support Force (RSF), which is made up of former members of the Janjaweed militia who carried out genocidal acts in Darfur.

“The RSF is currently being used by the military government in Sudan to attack pro-democracy protesters. Over 120 unarmed civilian protesters were killed by the RSF when they attacked pro-democracy protesters in Khartoum and there are reports of them torturing and raping other protesters.

“On Monday the RSF was accused of shooting dead 5 school students who were part of mass pro-democracy protest in the city of El-Obeid.

“Irish taxpayers’ money should not be funnelled to groups like the RSF through the Khartoum Process. The Khartoum process is clearly not fit for purpose and should be scrapped.

“I am calling on the Irish government to suspend financial support to the Khartoum Process and to remove Ireland from the Khartoum Process altogether.”