(18 July 2019)
- Food stocks depleted
- Flooding in Blue Nile destroys crops
- Security concerns and weather make access to markets difficult.
- Market prices continue to increase
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:
Read the full statement at http://www.acjps.org/sudan-crisis-accountability-is-a-key-ingredient-for-moving-forward/
(19 June 2019) The recent wave of enforced disappearances that have taken place in Sudan over the past seven months, particularly of peaceful protesters is deeply concerning and, calls for urgent action by both Sudanese authorities and the international community to end such acts and ensure accountability for victims and families. Article 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPPED) defines enforced disappearance as “[…] the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.” Since 19 December 2018, following the outbreak of a nation-wide anti-government protests that led to the ousting of President Omar al Bashir on 11 April 2019, the practice of enforced disappearances has increasingly been used by Sudanese national security forces and government-backed paramilitaries, purportedly to “preserve national security”.
Read the full statement.
(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.
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.
(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
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, June 3, 2019
(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.
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 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.
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.
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.