Civil society calls for a credible Human Rights Council response on Sudan

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(4 September 2019) Ahead of the 42nd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (“HRC” or “the Council”), we, the undersigned civil society organisations, urge you to ensure the Council takes action to address serious human rights violations and abuses that have been and continue to be committed in Sudan, and to support systemic reforms in the country. As detailed below, the Council should formulate a holistic response to the situation in the country, including by ensuring an investigation of violations committed since December 2018, renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan, and strengthening monitoring and reporting by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Read the full letter.

SKBN Coordination Unit: Humanitarian Update August 2019

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(16 August 2019) At the peak of the lean season in the SPLM-N controlled areas of south Kordofan and Blue Nile the food supply for communities is stressed. Heavy rain reported in Blue Nile in June is estimated by local authorities to have destroyed crops of 95% of people along the Yabus River, affecting about 300 feddans (126 hectares) of arable land. In Moguf, area local authorities estimate that about 35% of land was affected by floods.

Read the full update in English and Arabic.

NHRMO: Civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile continue to suffer attacks

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(4 August 2019) This report covers the period April to June 2019. While the country has been in ongoing turmoil, including the toppling of long-time ruler Omar Al-Bashir on 11 April, attacks against civilians have continued to take place. Most of the human rights violations reported in this update took place in Delami County, Nuba Mountains. Significantly, almost all the attacks were perpetrated by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) rather than by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) or the Popular Defence Forces (PDF), the SAF-allied militias who had previously been more visible in perpetrating such attacks in the Two Areas. Civilians in the two areas have not noticed any meaningful change following the toppling of Al-Bashir and the struggle for power between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and civilian opposition forces. Although the number of attacks still have not reached the level prior to the sharp diminution that began in June 2016, there were more human rights violations incidents perpetrated by the Sudan government in the Two Areas during the first six months of 2019, compared to the prior two years. Similarly, as a result, there were more people injured and killed during the first six months of 2019 than during the last six months of 2018.

Read the full report.

ACJPS: North Kordofan: Urgent call to investigate the killing of six peaceful protesters including 3 minors in El Obeid

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(2 August 2019)  The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) calls on the international community to urgently investigate the killing of six peaceful protesters that occurred on 29 July 2019 in El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, Sudan. The international community, including the United Nations Human Rights Council should urgently set up an independent and impartial commission to ensure an immediate and effective investigation into the full scale of the killing, identify those responsible, and recommend ways to hold them accountable.  On 29 August 2019, more than 500 high school students across El-Obeid participated in a peaceful protest denouncing the shortage of fuel and bread in the state which has caused a hike in costs of public transport from 2 to 3 Sudanese Pounds per passenger and long queues in front of bakeries.  The peaceful protest started at about 7:30 a.m in Kerima market after hundreds of students found themselves stranded at the bus station as many were unable to afford the new bus fares. The students gathered in the market and started chanting, “no transport, no bread” as they peacefully marched along the streets of El Obeid. According to a reliable source, the government-backed Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) started firing gun shots in the air as protesters approached the Sudanese French Bank. The student protesters ignored the gun shots and continued with their peaceful march. A few minutes later, the RSF indiscriminately fired live ammunition at the students killing five people instantly, including three minors. Another male adult was shot when he tried moving closer to talk to the RSF. ACJPS was informed that after the gun shots, some members of the Sudanese Armed Forces joined in to whip the student protesters with sticks, lashes, wood and iron bars.  The ACJPS has obtained the following details of the deceased:  

  • Ahmed Abdul Whab (m), 15 years old, a student at Abdul Hussein Jafar high school.
  • Hassan Saad (m), 17 years old, student at Al-Obied Industrial high school 
  • Mohamed Al-Fatih (m), 17 years old, a student at Ismail Alwali high school 
  • Badur Eldien Abdulla Ismail (m), 23 years, a student at Heath Academic 
  • Ahmed Abdul Karein (m), 40 years old 
  • Younies Adam Younies Malla (m), 45 years old, he was shot while asking RSF forces to stop shooting at the crowd. He was a businessman in El-Obied 

Reports indicate that at least sixty-two people suffered injuries from the gunshot wounds, teargas and whipping. Most of the injured were taken to different hospitals in El Obeid including Health Insurance hospital, Primary Hospital, Extra Care hospital and Alawia Yassin Hospital whilst four were transferred to Khartoum for medical care.   On 30 July, the Chairperson of the Transitionary Military Council (TMC), Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan condemned the killing in El Obeid and ordered the Governor of North Kordofan, Al-Sadiq Al-Tayeb Abdalla to establish a committee to investigate the incident. Mr Al-Sadiq Al-Tayeb Abdalla has issued a decree declaring a night time curfew in the state from 9 pm to 6 am. Local authorities have also issued a decision suspending classes at all schools in the state until further notice.  The massacre in El Obeid has stirred anger and protests across Sudan. On 30 July 2019, thousands of students took to the streets in Khartoum, and cities across the country demanding for justice for students killed and injured. The Sudanese Professional Association has also called on Sudanese to take to the streets to denounce the El Obeid massacre and demand that perpetrators be brought to justice.   On 2 August 2019, the TMC stated nine members of the RSF have been arrested and dismissed from service following their actual or suspected participation in the massacre and that the office of the prosecutor general will be considering charges against them. We urge that all perpetrators should be held to account, including the commanders.  The enjoyment of freedom to peaceful assembly, association and expression by Sudanese citizens is very crucial for the transition into a new regime and a civilian government. We urge Sudanese authorities to respect these rights which are guaranteed in the Constitution and International treaties ratified by Sudan. ACJPS also reiterates its calls to the Transitional Military Council to;

  • Respect citizen’s legitimate demands for democracy
  • Offer free treatment and rehabilitation for all those injured by security forces during protests since December 2018.  
  • Remove all militias, including the Rapid Support forces and child soldiers from towns of Sudan.   

SIHA: The Courageous Women of Sudan Continue to Stand Alone against the Scourge of Sexual Violence

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(23 July 2019) Hundreds of Sudanese women across the country from Kordufan to Gadarif, and Port Sudan in Eastern Sudan and Atbra and greater Khartoum came out in hundreds to protest the high prevalence of sexual violence and acts of rape that took place against women, men and children during the brutal mass crime that was committed against peaceful civilians during the Khartoum massacre on June 3rd 2019.

The Sudan Doctors’ Committee documented 70 cases of rape. Additionally, more cases of sexual violence and sexual harassment that took place in the aftermath of the massacre continue to be documented by women’s rights and civil society organizations. To date, female students and workers, women traders and street vendors continue to report incidents of aggressive sexual harassment including grabbing and use of demeaning sexist and insulting language on the streets of Khartoum and other cities of Sudan by the RSF and Bashir /militant Islamists regime soldiers.

The sustained sexual harassment/ violence and intimidation of women as they walk the streets of Greater Khartoum on their way to work, schools or the market, can be understood as a response to, and direct attack on, the key role women have played throughout the protests that have been ongoing since December last year. The intimidation directed at women is clearly an attempt to reverse the gains they made in the occupation of public space despite the discriminatory laws and policies imposed by Bashir’s regime.

On June 30th, millions of Sudanese across the country from all walks of life came out to further assert their demands for a civilian and democratic government. There were thousands of women protesters. However, once again they were met with extreme violence from the RSF and former Bashir forces who fired live ammunition, killing at least 15 people and injuring many more across the country.

Women, girls and children report that they feel threatened to walk home from work or school because of the consistent harassment and grabbing by soldiers. Men who have attempted to aid some of the women themselves have also been subject to beating and have been shot at with live bullets, leading to death or serious injuries.

Despite the “broad” declaration, Sudan’s civilians and women continue to live under direct threats of the armed militia, whilst the rule of law and legal institutions continue to be paralyzed and sidelined.

  • SIHA therefore asserts that Sudan is in the midst of a political crisis and the declaration /agreement needs to spell out clearly how it will be represented by, and be accountable to marginalized groups and women. 
  • The yet to be established Joint Sovereign Council and Cabinet of Ministers must be responsible for ending hostilities, enforcing rule of law, and ensuring accountability and justice representing the legitimate demands of Sudanese men and women.
  • Sudan Freedom and Change forces and the upcoming civilian government must acknowledge sexual violence as a crime, and address accountability and justice for sexual violence survivors and those who were killed. Sudanese women stress the urgent need for an independent investigation, where the Sudanese people should play an instrumental role.

AN OPEN LETTER OF PUBLIC CONCERN FROM AFRICAN AND SUDANESE CIVIL SOCIETY

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RE: The Militarization of Public Space in Rural and Urban Areas in Sudan and the Corresponding Increase in Cases of Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Khartoum Massacre

(8 July 2019) We, the undersigned are a coalition of Sudanese and African civil society organizations working in and concerned with Sudan, which is supported, collectively, by hundreds of thousands of people across Sudan and Africa. This initiative came together with the shared goal of bringing to light the ongoing violations against the Sudanese people, with a particular focus on the targeting and intimidation of women and girls.

We acknowledge the agreement reached on Thursday 4th July 2019 between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Freedom and Change Alliance (FCCA), and we encourage the mediators to continue supporting Sudan in the establishment of a civilian and democratic state that meets the expectations and recognizes the sacrifices of Sudanese people.

The people of Sudan have witnessed three decades of fundamental transformation of civil space. The Sudanese government’s failure to engage peacefully with its citizens has led to the escalation of civil wars. By and large, the response to increasing insecurity and uprising in the outlying regions of the country has been a heavy reliance on the militarization of civilians, transforming these regions into battlefields.

Over time, the militarization of civil spaces has slowly become the norm. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is an extension of the Janjaweed militia that was used by the Bashir regime to terrorize civilians in Sudan’s western regions of Darfur and Kordofan. Eventually, these forces were brought to Khartoum by Bashir to protect the regime’s interest and maintain their hold on power. The use of these militias that represent the violent state and their ever-present position in civil space is a violation of human rights and rule of law and preys on the vulnerabilities of civilians, particularly women.

As the Revolution in Sudan has gradually gained traction in the media and on the global scape, the signatories of this Letter of Concern view it as imperative to bring to the fore the manner in which sexual violence and sexual harassment are being used as a deliberate strategy to destroy the solidarity of the people of Sudan, with a particular aim to break the involvement of women in the current popular Revolution and transition. This goal can be illustrated in the statement by the leader of the RSF/Janjaweed militia who said, “After this – (referring to June Khartoum Massacre), “all women should go back home”.    

During the Khartoum Massacre on 3 June, the Sudan Doctors’ Committee documented 70 cases of rape, and cases of sexual violence and sexual harassment in the aftermath of the Massacre continue to be documented by women’s rights and civil society organizations.

To date, female students and workers, women traders and street vendors continue to report incidents of aggressive sexual harassment including grabbing and the use of demeaning sexist and insulting language on the streets of Khartoum and other towns and cities of Sudan by the RSF/Janjaweed soldiers.

The sustained sexual harassment and intimidation of women as they walk the streets of Greater Khartoum on their way to work, schools or the market, can be understood as a response to and a direct attack on the key role women have played throughout the protests that have been ongoing since December last year. The intimidation directed at women is clearly an attempt to reverse the gains they made in the occupation of public space despite the discriminatory laws and policies imposed by Bashir’s regime.

A statement by the Women’s Cooperatives Union of Food and Beverage Vendors in Khartoum attested to more than five thousand female vendors being victimized by the actions of the military and Janjaweed forces that actively perpetrated abuse and sexual violence, as well as theft and deliberate property damage against women vendors. The damages caused have had significant influence on the economic livelihood of the women vendors as their business apparatus was destroyed strategically as means of economic dis-empowerment.

Many women, female and male children report that they feel threatened to walk home from work or school because of the consistent harassment and grabbing by the soldiers. Men who have attempted to aid some of the women themselves have also been subject to beating and have been shot at with live bullets, leading to death or serious injuries – as happened to a young man along Gumhureya Street on 18 June when he tried to defend some women who were being grabbed aggressively by the RSF/Janjaweed soldiers, but was instead shot at and badly injured. Other reports following the Khartoum Massacre stated that the RSF/Janjaweed soldiers forcefully entered university female student hostels and a number of the female students were raped.

Despite the agreement that was reached last week, the presence of the RSF/Janjaweed militia is still very conspicuous. There are large numbers combing the city’s streets throughout the day. It is clear that these forces have neither been withdrawn nor returned to their camps. In another incident that occurred over the past weekend in Khartoum, a woman working at the Apple Café, in Khartoum II area was raped by RSF/Janjaweed soldiers. Reports have been received from the rural and urban centers around the country, specifically Darfur and Blue Nile that civil spaces are highly militarized and civilians continue to be terrorized. To date, well over 150 deaths have been recorded and almost as many rape cases have been documented, amounting to crimes against humanity.

Despite the ongoing attacks against civilians, on 30 June millions of Sudanese across the country from all walks of life came out to further assert their demands for a civilian and democratic government with thousands of women protesters. Yet again, they were met with extreme violence from the RSF/Janjaweed and former Bashir forces who fired live ammunition, killing at least 15 people and injuring many more across the country.

Sudan is in the midst of a political crisis, the 4 July agreement needs to spell out clearly how it will be represented by and be accountable to marginalized groups and women.  The yet to be established Joint Sovereign Council will be responsible for ending hostilities, enforcing rule of law, and ensuring accountability and justice representing the legitimate demands of Sudanese men and women.

Amidst rising recognition by the African and international community of Sudan’s plight at this very pivotal time, the following recommendations should be considered:

  • The African Union and international community must categorically address the high level of militarization of civil spaces in Sudan and the strong presence of armed militia.
  • The AU and international community must pressure the upcoming Sudanese government and support Sudan in establishing rule of law institutions and abiding by regional and international mechanisms that would address and challenge sexual violence and sexual harassment as crimes;
  • The African Union and the United Nations must establish mechanisms to address the extensive recruitment of child soldiers into Sudan’s paramilitary RSF/Janjaweed immediately considering their violations of regional and international child rights’ mechanisms and the serious ramifications on the country’s peace and stability;
  • The Sudanese authorities must acknowledge sexual violence as a crime, and address accountability and justice for sexual violence survivors and those who were killed;
  • There are hundreds of victims and eyewitnesses to the Khartoum Massacre and the aftermath. We stress the urgent need for an independent investigation, where Sudanese should play an instrumental role. This committee should consist of Sudanese activists and advocates who have documented the cases and are informed of the local context including credible Sudan-based lawyers, civil society, and African male and female expertise. This committee needs to be formed immediately and the collection of the testimonies of survivors and witnesses should be prioritized;

Copy to:

  • The IGAD led by H.E. Abiy Ahmed Ali The Prime Minster of Ethiopia
  • Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat
  • African Union Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security H.E  Bineta Diop
  • The Minister of State for Africa – United Kingdom, H.E. Harriett Baldwin
  • The United States Special Envoy to Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth
  • United Nations Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Pramila Patten
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet
  • Members of the United Nations Security Council

Arab Media Network for Crisis rejects the violations of the Military Council and warns against the return of security services

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(16 June 2019) The Arab Media Network for Crisis  noted the unfortunate statements made by the Chairman of the Political Committee and the Spokesman of the Military Council, Shamseddine Kabbashi, in which he explicitly stated that the Internet service would not be returned as a threat to national security in the greatest violation of the inherent right to human rights. freedom of expression.

It is one of the most important necessities such as electricity, water and other services. Its sources confiscate the right to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of voice, video and electronic communication, and a failed attempt by the military junta to impose media blackouts. As he did to close the Al Jazeera office in Khartoum and withdraw its license and put off reporters.

Read the full statement.

30 civil society organisation call for urgent UN Security Council action to prevent further bloodshed in Sudan

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(11 June 2019) The undersigned, 30 civil society organisations from around the world, are writing to you at a critical time, the fate of the Sudanese people hangs in the balance and bold leadership is needed to prevent further violence and support those seeking democratic change in Sudan.  

The situation in Sudan is at a critical juncture. There is an immediate and urgent need for intervention to restore civilian rule in Sudan and to address the demands made by protesters since December 2018. The moment that held so much promise for the brave people of Sudan who exercised their democratic right to clamor for change through peaceful protest now seems to be turning to a more oppressive context.

Read the full letter in English or Arabic.

Killings of Peaceful Sudanese Democracy Protesters Demand Accountability

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(6 June 2019) The attack on peaceful democracy protesters in Khartoum that began on June 3 that has reportedly seen the killing of at least 100 people and hundreds more injured demands a strong international response to immediately stop such attacks and ensure accountability for this and other violence in response to peaceful protests.

Read the full letter.

Sudan: Violent Crackdown on Protesters Requires Urgent Action by International Community

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Khartoum, Kampala, Paris, 5 June 2019 – According to medical sources in Khartoum at least 60 peaceful protesters were killed and more than 600 were injured since early Monday morning during a violent crackdown by security forces in Khartoum. ACJPS, SHRM and FIDH call for the urgent deployment of an international fact-finding mission, led by the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), to investigate this repression and hold those responsible to account. The international community should also consider targeted sanctions and facilitating a process of accountability against the perpetrators.

Read the full press release.

SUDO: Statement on Behalf of Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam

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(3 June 2019) I condemn in the strongest terms the killings that were committed today
by the Transitional Military Council (TMC). It is they and they alone
who hold sole responsibility for the events that took place.

We had trusted, for the good of the country, that the TMC was a credible
partner that could work with the Sudanese people to restore Sudan to
democracy and the rule of law.

However, the TMC have demonstrated they cannot be trusted and they no
longer represent the Sudanese Armed Forces. The TMC is only interested
in controlling the power of the country and protecting the previous regime.

Subsequently, no deal can be procured with the TMC. The only way to
fulfil the goals of the Sudanese people is to continue the civic
resistance and to engage in complete civil disobedience.

The violations that were committed today have destroyed the political
process and negotiations. These violations represent criminal offences
against the Sudanese people and they will not go without due
accountability.

Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, June 3, 2019

SUDO Condemns Attacks on Peaceful Protesters

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(3 June 2019) The Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO) condemns in the strongest terms the killings and violence orchestrated against peaceful protesters at the sit-ins and the use of force against civilians in the towns.

SUDO calls upon civil society organisations, governments and inter-governmental organisations to condemn these barbaric actions and to call upon them to press the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to urgently form a committee of investigation to examine the events and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Assessing Progress Towards Civilian-Led Transitional Authority in Sudan

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This report is submitted by Sudanese civil society groups in response to the communique of the 846th meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), in which the AU Commission Chairperson is requested to provide the PSC with periodic reports on the situation in Sudan in order to inform decision making by the PSC.

Civil Society Organizations (CSO) have an important role in the transitional arrangements. Accordingly, Sudanese CSO have submitted this report to the PSC on the occasion of the first 3-week reporting period following the 846th meeting of the PSC. This report is submitted in line with the Livingstone Formula and subsequent Maseru Conclusion which mandate civil society organizations to submit reports to the PSC. This report reflects the views of the Sudanese Civil Society and their take on the progress on the transition as at 20 May 2019.

Read the full report.

The Sudan Women Protest: Sudan’s revolution and the upcoming state must adhere to the women’s agenda

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The religion of Islam is the religion of the majority in Sudan. We believe that the principles of Islam and other religions and believes practiced in Sudan are a source of justice and equality whilst preserving the dignity of all human beings – both women and men.  Furthermore, international conventions and constitutions are all based on equality between human beings.  Based on these shared principles, we believe that achieving justice and equality in the laws of Islamic communities is both necessary and conceivable at the same time.

Background:

The Strategic Initiative for women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), in Sudan – is operating among other civil society organizations in the field of human rights. SIHA Network is concerned with promoting women’s rights within the local communities, organizing women, empowering them, building their capacities, and motivating them to partake in public work. This initiative comes as a contribution from SIHA’s Membership Network hereby formed as a coalition of women’s CSOs and NGOs with the shared goal of pushing forward the development of community awareness on the issues of human rights and women’s rights in light of the democratic transition that Sudan is currently undergoing. This awareness is envisioned to be achieved through developing and sharpening women and girls’ mechanisms to safeguard their rights and create a cohesive and solidarity-based women rights and feminist movement that expresses the rights of women and girls without exclusion – through mass protest marches and rallies. This is expected to form a continuous pressure mechanism for democratic and civil governance that respects women’s rights.

The idea of Sudan Women Protest is derived from the developments that have been witnessed and are still being witnessed in the Sudanese arena. These developments have inevitably affected, and are still affecting the status of women in Sudan. In spite of the intensity of the discourse that prevailed in the early periods of the revolution around women ‘s political participation in the Sudanese revolution and the parallel and widespread presence of women in all revolutionary events and activities – the current political discourse is still limited in dealing with women’s basic issues such as development, legal rights, security and peace, and creating economic budgets that take into consideration providing opportunities for women in decent livelihood and access to education healthcare  services for them and their families.

What is aggravating these days is the re-emergence of the extremist discourse which has contributed to the exclusion, torture and criminalization of women for decades. This is apparent in the marches of dark forces and terrorist groups such as those led by Salafi Islamists proponents of the former regime who called for, and marketed the suppression of women, and hence the suppression of the society, as a tool to impose their political domination.

Due to the absence of a consistent and unified women’s resistance discourse, the idea of Sudan Women Protest came into existence. In the short term, the idea aims to create a unified platform for women’s resistance in the form of marches and demonstrations that embrace women from different backgrounds. In the long term, Sudan Women Protest will act as an efficient tool for the mobilization and support of women in coordination with women ‘s groups from different regions of Sudan and without exclusion of geographic origin, religion or political orientation; provided that the advancing of women’s rights, equality in law, and development opportunities are agreed upon.  It should eventually be emphasized that Sudanese women will not accept to be attacked under the pretext of religion or customs.

Goals of Sudan Women Protest

1) Demand for a civilian-led and democratic government that guarantees freedom of expression for all Sudanese within a coherent legal framework aligned with international and regional mechanisms which promotes space for negotiation, access to peace, justice and democracy in Sudan;

2) Urgent signing and ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women – (CEDAW); the revision and removal of all Sudanese Laws which serve to humiliate women and do not promote and protect the rights of women as soon as possible; and the ratification and adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol);  and the implementation of regional and international conventions nationally through domestication and revision of legal mechanisms and policies;

3) Address and put in place strict regulations on militarization, armament and impunity in Sudan, specifically in the periphery areas of displacement, which result in systematic violations of women’s and girls’ rights and are an impediment to their movement, safety and security;

4) Issue strict laws and regulations that address the hate discourse that hurt, humiliate and undermine women in public spaces such as mosques, religious institutions, educational curricula, the press and the media, and any hate discourse that incites racial prejudice against any Sudanese citizen regardless of their gender, ethnic, religion or cultural background;

The first of the Sudan Women Protest will be on Thursday 30th May 2019 – in Khartoum, Sudan. 

Civil society responds to attacks on protesters

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(16 May 2019) The undersigned Sudanese and African civil society organisations write to urge the African Union to take urgent action following events this week in Sudan.

On 15 May, an unidentified militia fired live ammunition near McNimer bridge in an attempt to clear roadblocks and disperse protestors. At the time of writing this letter, at least eight people were reported to have been injured in the attack but the number is likely to be higher. This is the second attack made against peaceful protestors this week and follows an attack on 13 May, in which at least five demonstrators and one military official were killed and over 100 people injured in Khartoum. Live ammunition and tear gas was used against protestors at Nile Avenue, a few blocks away from sit-in at army headquarters in an attempt to break up the protest. The attack took place as protestors were breaking their Ramadan fast in the evening and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) was only able to send in army reinforcements hours later. On 4 May, protests in Nyala, South Darfur were dispersed by counter revolutionary forces which resulted in one civilian casualty and injuries.

Read the full letter.

SIHA: Massacre on Nile Street – Peaceful Protesters in Khartoum Shot at by Security Militias

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(14 May 2019) Last night – May 13th 2019 in Khartoum, the enduring sit-in continued to peacefully await a power transition to civilian government. As observed, the sit-in has backed the negotiation process between the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the Sudanese Military Council (MTC). Many Sudanese citizens attend the Iftar meals held at the sit-in, marking the end of the day of fasting in a peaceful and communal setting.

However, last night was disturbed by sounds of live ammunition echoing from multiple directions on Nile Street, which had recently been added to the territory of the sit-in. Heavy teargas across the sit-in area added to the panic caused by the noise of live ammunition – and as the situation became more fraught many protesters ran towards the sit-in barriers in alarm at this serious attempt to dissolve the sit-in and harm the protesters. A few moments later, the source of the gunfire sounds were identified and a long line of casualties being carried by fellow protesters appeared to come from the Nile Street side of the occupied sit-in area. The mobile clinics at the sit-in area were quickly filled, and ambulances arrived taking the injured to hospitals across Khartoum. The attacks on civilians lasted between 6:15pm and midnight. Medical sources say that there are 125 people known to have been injured by the attacks.

This morning of May 14th, it was reported by the medical doctors’ committee operating inside the sit-in area that five (5) protesters and one (1) military officer were shot in the head and chest and lost their lives.

Their names are listed below: 

  • Ruba Mohamed of 17 years (the only female);
  • Mohamed Ibrahim of 25 years;  
  • Mohamed Hassan of 21 years;  
  • Ahmed Ibrahim of 20 years; 
  • Mudathir ElShikh of 30 years; 
  • An Army Officer (a male whose name has not been released yet); 

According to many eye-witnesses, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who for the tenure of the sit-in has surrounded the sit in – withdrew swiftly just before the shooting started. Many eye-witnesses on Nile Street also reported that they were shot at by the same Rapid Support Forces (RSF) personnel based on their uniform and type of vehicles. Additionally, this morning of May 14th, hundreds of the RSF fighters who are stationed around Khartoum especially on the bridges were seen holding whips and flogging civilians on public bridges and pedestrian walkways.

In the press conference held by the military council, Hashim Abd al-Muttalib Mohammad Babikir, a member of the council blamed the peaceful protesters at the sit-in, accusing people of provoking military personnel which consequentially led them to attempt to dissolve the sit in.

During the time of the attack, it was estimated that almost one million people of all walks of life, gender, ages and cultural backgrounds – including families with young children – were having their Ramadan meal within the sit-in area. The protesters’ demands for a civilian government and peaceful democratic transformation have been backed and supported by Sudanese from across the country.

The Sudan Military Council currently in control of the country must be held accountable for the massacre that occurred in Khartoum yesterday. This situation of systemic extra judicial killing by Sudanese security forces rises to levels of crimes against humanity according to international law. The Alliance for Freedom and Change must speak out categorically against these atrocities; otherwise it too will bear responsibility for the lives lost in these attempts to stop the protesters from struggling for justice.

ACJPS: Sudanese Public Order: A law designed to control people, not protect morality

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(9 May 2019) Since 1989, Sudan has witnessed a new era (under Inghaz Government) which based its rule on the philosophy of Political Islam, which introduced the so called “civilization project” as a political manifesto. The civilization Project aimed to enforce the ‘Islamic religious State’. Religious state contradicts the cultural, social, historical and ethnic components of Sudanese society, which is characterized by pluralism and diversity, what questioned its legitimacy.

Read the full statement.

ACJPS: Sudan weekly update

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The Transitional Military Council and opposition agree on a joint council as the African Union extends deadline for the third time.

(6 May 2019) The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has documented a number of events that has taken place between 25 to 30 April 2019, as peaceful protesters in Sudan continue with their demand for a civilian-led transitionary council.

Read the full statement.

SIHA: VIOLENCE AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTERS IN NYALA, SOUTH DARFUR

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(6 May 2019) Horrifying reports of violence against peaceful protesters by police in Nyala, South Darfur show that the government there continues its efforts to roll back the gains of the revolution. The police in Nyala used live ammunition and tear gas to attempt to clear the sit in that has been taking place outside the Nyala army head-quarters since 6th April, 2019. It is reported that 8 people were seriously injured by live ammunition, many more lost consciousness and were injured by the teargas. One man died this morning (May 5th, 2019) as a result of his gunshot wounds. There are also reports that the military assisted with attempts to break up the sit in by beating protesters with canes.

The Governor of South Darfur Major General Hashim Khalid Mahmoud claims that his decision to ban peaceful protests and efforts to disperse the ongoing sit-in are made to ensure “security” in the area.

The Governor of South Darfur Major General Hashim Khalid Mahmoud claims that his decision to ban peaceful protests and efforts to disperse the ongoing sit-in are made to ensure “security” in the area.

The Governor’s actions come just days after the administration in Nyala issued emergency orders prohibiting nudity, indecent dressing, and the selling of alcohol subject to fines and imprisonment, along the lines of the old regime’s public order laws. These actions show that the government in Nyala has not yet made its peace with revolutionary change and Sudan’s transformation to peace and democracy, as they continue to uphold the values of the ousted regime of Omar al-Bashir. This includes violence and repression against all civilians, but particularly women and marginalized ethnic groups.

We at SIHA condemn these actions, and call for increased scrutiny to push for revolutionary change across Sudan, especially in Darfur. We demand the Peace and Security Council at the African Union and the international community to take a firm stand in order to further stop all forms of violations against the people of Darfur who have suffered for decades as a result of the brutality of Bashir regime and Sudan’s political Islamist government.

Civil society calls for strong AU support for civilian transition in Sudan

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(29 April 2019) We, the undersigned Sudanese and African civil society organizations write to urge the African Union to take a strong stand with the people of Sudan, demanding an expeditious transfer of governmental authority from the current Transitional Military Council and setting up comprehensive mediation and support mechanisms that will support a sustainable transition to democratic rule.

Read the full letter here.

Letter to the AU Peace and Security Council

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(29 April 2019) As you are aware, the Sudanese people persistently protested and bravely stood against the former regime until its downfall on 11 April 2019. During the last four months of the Sudanese uprising, one of the key demands of the protesters has been the peaceful and immediate handover of political power to the pro-democracy political forces that led the uprising and the establishment of civilian rule after 30 years of military dictatorship. This demand was clearly articulated by the protestors and the Forces of Freedom and Change which orchestrated the demonstrations from13th December 2018 until today. The Sudanese people consider the transfer of political power from the military to a civilian-led transitional authority as an assurance that their aspirations for freedom, peace and justice will be met.

Read the full letter here.

Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum

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(24 April 2019) We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, congratulate the people of Sudan on their great landmark December-April revolution and we send our prayers to the souls of all Sudan martyrs and victims of war and those who lost their lives while peacefully protesting and perusing a peaceful and democratic Sudan and those whom we lost, as a result of the miserable laws and policies of Sudan Salvation regime since June 30, 1989.

Read the full statement.

SKBN CU: Humanitarian Update April 2019

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“Macroeconomic conditions, along with the issuing of emergency
law, and troop build-up seen along certain parts of the frontlines are
having an effect on the markets in the SPLM-N controlled areas. Not
only are traders fewer in some areas but CU monitors report a
heightened level of tension and fear among crossline communities
related to the insecurity in government-controlled areas, security
restrictions imposed through the emergency law which impedes on free
movement and trade.”

Read the full update in English or Arabic.

Arab Coalition for Sudan deplores appointment of rapid support militia leader as a member of the Transitional Military Council

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(19 April 2019) The Sudanese people have won a great victory in their steadfastness and steadfastness in their principles and adherence to their demands to overthrow the totalitarian regime and dismantle its institutions and to try its symbols through its peaceful revolution which it carried out over the past four months. This culminated in a large sit-in before the General Command of the Armed People’s Forces recently on 6 April which is same date in April 1985, which toppled the regime of former President Jaafar Nimeiri, and a number of states witnessed demonstrations and sit-ins similar, and the members of the armed forces officers and soldiers of the rebels and joined the sit-in, and despite the success of the sit-in to achieve a partial and limited change, but has not satisfy the demands of the Sudanese people.

Read the full release in Arabic or English.

IAPL: 4 Sudanese lawyers denied visas by Egypt for African Commission for Human & Peoples’ Rights Session

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(April 19, 2019) The African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) 64th Session on and will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The host country’s embassies in Khartoum and Kampala refused to grant four Sudanese lawyers entry visas to participate: 1- Abdelrahman Mohamed Al Gasim /Kampala 2- Awad Basha Omer Kortikaila / Khartoum 3- Saeed Abdullah Sudan Hubilla/ Khartoum 4- Nasreldein Musa Gomna Idris/ Khartoum This behavior has never happened at any previous session, all host countries are working hard to facilitate the travel of all participants.

Read the full statement.

ACJPS: Hundreds of peaceful protesters and activists released from detention, including Mohamed Hassan Alim and Hisham Ali Mohammed Ali

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(17 April 2019) African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has received reliable information indicating that more than 800 peaceful protesters and activists have been released after spending more than 2 months in custody without charge. Their release on 13 April 2019 comes after the newly appointed head of the transitional military council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan ordered the release of all political prisoners detained under the emergency declaration announced by the toppled Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir in February 2019.  Detainees were arrested between December 2018 and April 2019 by security agents following their actual or suspected participation in the anti-government protests which have lasted for months since 19 December 2018.

Read the full press release.

17 Civil Society Organisations Call for UNSC Action on Sudan Coup

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We, the undersigned Sudanese, African and International civil society organizations write to express our solidarity with the people of Sudan who, over the past several months, have been calling for a peaceful, democratic transition. This effort has been endangered by the 11 April military coup. Although recent statements from the military transitional council are encouraging, the Security Council must not forget that a military regime is still in power and must take action to ensure a speedy transition to civilian authority and to sustain democratic reform. As the Troika of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway said on 14 April, “To date, the legitimate change that the Sudanese people are demanding has not been achieved. It is vital that that the authorities listen to the calls from the Sudanese people.”

Read the full letter.

African and Sudanese Civil Society Call for Strong Response to Coup in Sudan

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(12 April 2019) We, the undersigned Sudanese and African civil society organizations write with deep concern about the military takeover in Sudan on 11 April 2019. The Sudanese people’s quest for peace and democratic change has propelled country wide protests since December 2018, which developed on 6 April 2019 into massive protests including a sit-in at the military headquarters in Khartoum which continues to the present moment. Although the people of Sudan have been calling for an end to the regime of President Omar Al Bashir, this is not how they wanted it to happen. Over his 30 year tenure, President Bashir has overseen the waging of several wars that have primarily targeted civilians, severe repression of political opposition and civil society, shrinking of civil society space and the secession of South Sudan. The recent announcement of a military transitional council headed by Awad ibn Auf, the former vice president and minister of defense under Bashir’s regime, however, represents an attempt by the regime to ensure its survival by sacrificing Bashir. Their imposition of a two year transitional period headed by the military, dissolution of the national assembly, suspension of the 2005 Constitution and imposition of a state of emergency and lack of a plan for transition to civilian rule, however, indicate that they do not share the protester’s goal of a peaceful and democratic Sudan. As a result, protestors, including both civic and political forces, have remained in the streets calling for change and a civilian transitional government.

Read the full letter.

Sudan: The army must respect legitimate demands for democracy and accountability

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(Paris, Kampala) 12 April 2019 – FIDH and ACJPS consider that Omar Al-Bashir’s removal from power, ending his 30-year dictatorial regime, should pave the way to establish democracy and the rule of law in Sudan. Our organizations are deeply concerned by the statements made by the Vice President and Minister of Defence, Awad Ibn Ouf, announcing the suspension of the Constitution and the imposition of a curfew and state of emergency. Ibn Ouf also announced the creation of a military council mandated to oversee a two-year transitional period. These measures seriously risk causing the deterioration of the political and security climate in Sudan.

Read the full press release.

Open letter from civil society to the international community on the current situation in Sudan

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(10 April 2019) What has happened in Sudan since 6 April can leave no doubt as to the seriousness of the Sudanese people to dismiss a regime that has remained in power for 30 years through its dependence on the tools of dictatorship, kleptocracy, patronage, fear and wide-scale human rights abuse. Citizens in the hundreds of thousands went to the streets across the country on the 6th of April; a sit-in around the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) headquarters in Khartoum continues with unprecedented numbers of protesters gathered as we write. Whole families have come, along with new social change movements, youth, women, traditional opposition groups, secularists, Islamists – all demanding change.

Read the full letter.

SPA: Letter to all International and Regional Actors in Sudan

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(9 April 2019) In the early hours of today, the 9th of April 2019, forces of the National
Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), backed with Islamist militias, attacked
peaceful protestors in front of the Headquarters of the Armed Forces, where a
massive sit-in began on the 6th of April and continues to this moment. This
attack, which lasted for over two hours, was the third of its kind since the
beginning of the sit-in, but this time it was more violent and on a larger scale,
leading to several casualties. Members of the armed forces intervened again to
protect the protestors but after some delay. NISS forces are still attacking groups
of peaceful protestors who are trying to join the sit-in.

Read the full statement.

The Sudanese government must stop using excessive force against peaceful protests at the army HQ in Khartoum

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(10 April 2019) Since December 2018, there have been country-wide mass demonstrations in Sudan. These demonstrations are now focused around the army HQ street in Khartoum, a place that has come to symbolise the 1985 April Revolution. Thousands of people have been camped outside the army HQ since the night of 6th April, despite the use of tear gas and live ammunition by the security services.

Read the full press release.

PHR: Intimidation and Persecution: Sudan’s Attacks on Peaceful Protesters and Physicians

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(5 April 2019) Since Sudanese protesters took to the streets in December 2018 to demonstrate against government corruption, economic mismanagement, and brutal repression, forces loyal to the government of President Omar al-Bashir have carried out massive violations of human rights. Peaceful protesters have been attacked by government security forces using disproportionate, unnecessary, and sometimes lethal force. They have been arrested and detained without charges and denied access to their families or medical care. Government security forces and police have prevented medical personnel from attending to the wounded and, in many cases, have arrested and detained these personnel, conducted incursions and attacks inside medical facilities, and targeted, injured, and even killed health workers while they have been carrying out their medical duties or participating in the protest movement.

Read the full release and report.

ACJPS: Darfur Region: NISS targets peaceful protesters with arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention

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(5 April 2019) Since the last week of March 2019, the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) of Darfur region has launched a campaign of arrest, targeting political and civil activists for actual or suspected participation in the ongoing anti-government protests. The campaign followed the protests of 28 March 2019 announced by Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) across Sudan, where several peaceful protesters were detained by NISS. Reliable information indicates that more than 41 protests broke out across Sudan following the announcement by SPA.

Read the full press release.

ACJPS: Sudan Protests: NISS introduces a new tactic targeting chief-editors after lifting censorship against four newspapers

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(4 April 2019) On 17 March 2019, the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) lifted a pre-publication censorship imposed on Algareeda, Albaath, Al Maidan and Akhbar Al-Watan newspapers between 20 December 2018 and 11 March 2019. The censorship was lifted after NISS introduced new measures to restrict the media including, a pledge by the chief editors to remain fully responsible for actions of the newspaper under the jurisdiction of the emergency decree announced by President Omar al-Bashir on 25 February 2019. The decree imposes restrictions on the media by prohibiting publication of news that “harms the state or citizens, or calls for undermining the constitutional system”.

Read the full press release.

HUDO: Potential Confrontation between Talodi Residents on a Sit Down Demonstration and RSF Soldiers in Sudan

(10 September 2019) Since 5th September 2019, Talodi residents together with Aleri and Kalogi people went on a sit down demonstration at Talodi Locality building opposing the use of cyanide by gold mining companies. The Rapid Support Force (RSF) threatened them which raised fear that the experienced massacre of 3rd June 2019 in Khartoum could be repeated.

Read the full statement.

Sudan crisis: accountability is a key ingredient for moving forward

(21 June 2019) Khartoum, Kampala, The Hague, New York Following the presentation of the 29th report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), FIDH, ACJPS and SHRM call on members of the UNSC, and the international community as a whole, to recognise the importance of accountability in resolving the current and past crisis in Sudan, including in the Darfur region, and to take concrete steps to bring all those allegedly responsible for atrocities committed in Sudan to justice. Particularly, the Council must take action to support the ICC’s mandate, including by addressing states’ non-cooperation with the Court and to execute the pending arrest warrants.

Read the full statement at http://www.acjps.org/sudan-crisis-accountability-is-a-key-ingredient-for-moving-forward/