"I look forward with hope to a transitional period that places the rights and aspirations of the Sudanese people front and center."
WORCESTER, MASS. – Today, Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, issued this statement in reaction to today’s swearing-in of Abdalla Hamdok to be prime minister of Sudan’s transitional government:
"I welcome today the swearing-in of Abdalla Hamdok to be prime minister of Sudan’s transitional government, and I congratulate the Sudanese people on this latest milestone as they work to establish a civilian-led transitional government that could oversee free and fair elections in 3 years. This appointment follows the signing of a political agreement and Constitutional Declaration between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that seized power after the fall of former president Omar al-Bashir and the Forces of Freedom and Change, representing the broad-based civil society reform movement.
"I hope the Constitutional Declaration will lead to the formation of a government that can – after decades of struggle, suffering and sacrifice by the Sudanese people – guarantee peace throughout Sudan, human rights, justice, full political participation, and a better future for Sudan’s families and children.
"I look forward with hope to a transitional period that places the rights and aspirations of the Sudanese people front and center. I have grave concerns, however, about whether military and political officials associated with the former regime will prove trustworthy partners given their history of violence, repression, corruption and bad faith. How the military authorities collaborate with civilians and deliver on the demands of civil society for justice, freedom, peace and economic opportunity will be closely watched and judged in the coming days, weeks and months.
"I support the call for justice by civil society for the crimes committed by the Bashir regime – not just for widespread and endemic corruption, but for gross human rights abuses, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide carried out against the people of Darfur and the Sudanese people. Justice for those peaceful protestors killed while Bashir still held power and by those who carried out violent and murderous acts following his removal will be key tests for the rule of law in Sudan.
"I continue to stand with the people of Sudan and their peaceful reform movement. I will do all that I can to support their aspiration to achieve a civilian-led government by 2022."