(14 January 2019) This report covers the period October – December 2018 under the unilateral ceasefires declared by each of the two opposing forces, the Sudan government and the SPLM/A-N. The NHRMO is not aware of any ceasefire extension by either party since 31 December 2018.
In July 2018, the Sudan government issued a decree extending the unilateral ceasefire in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur until 31 December 2018. On 28 November 2018, on behalf of SPLM/A-N, Lieutenant General Abdalaziz Adam Alhilu extended the cessation of hostilities from 1 November to 31 December 2018.
(September 2018) This special update covers the period from June 2016 to July 2018 and focuses on the SPLM/A-N controlled areas of Nuba Mountains/Southern Kordofan (SK) and Blue Nile (BN) states of Sudan.
For over two years now, since mid-2016, there has been a fairly effective cessation of hostilities in place in SK and BN. The decisive step taken to cease fighting and stop over five years of regular aerial bombardments was first declared by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir on 16 June 2016 and then subsequently extended several times on a unilateral basis by the belligerent parties (SPLM/A-N and the government of Sudan), in parallel fashion, whenever their respective unilateral ceasefires are about to expire.
However, despite the cessation of hostilities, human rights violations, have continued to be committed, mainly by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and allied militias or paramilitary forces though admittedly at a lower rate.
(26 August 2018) Two court sessions were held on 24th July 2018 and 9th August 2018 at Khartoum North before Justice Murshid Ahmed Elamein. In the two court sessions, lawyers panels had to make their last submissions, The judge announced that he would deliver this verdict in the next court session on 12 September 2018.
(August 2018) Like elsewhere in Sudan (IFRC, 13 Aug 2018, FEWSNET, 31 Aug 2018), heavy and erratic rains have affected the planting season (June – August) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The rains were also followed by a dry-spell and pest infestation (birds and insects). This, in combination with seed shortages, have affected the early growing season and it is already having serious consequences on the growing season of long-term sorghum in both areas. Based on this current situation, poor crop production is expected this year. Long maturity type sorghum which is commonly planted has failed in most of the areas. Previously, communities in Blue Nile relied on quick maturing sorghum planted in September and October for the main lean season but with no seeds available and exhaustion of the early maize and sorghum crop, the lean season of 2019 is likely to be early and food insecurity situation worse next year.
(7 April 2018) The court session was held on 28th March 2018 at Khartoum North court before Justice/ Abdeen Hamid Dhahi. Apart from the prosecutor, all parties were present. During this session, three defending witnesses delivered their testimonies. The next court session is scheduled for 11th April 2018.
(28 January 2018) The court session was held on 24th January 2018 at Khartoum North court before Justice Abdeen Hamid Dhahi. Apart from the prosecutor who was absent, the following were present; the investigator, defendents, the panel of lawyers and the general public. The next court session will be on 31st January 2018.
(12 December 2017) The court session was held on Wednesday 6th December 2017 at 11:40 AM before Justice/ Abdeen Hamid Dhahi at Khartoum North court. All parties attended except the prosecutors, though one of them joined later. The session’s main activities were the investigator’s final submission and the cross examination by the lawyers. At the end, the judge announced that the next court session will be on 13th December 2017.
(3 December 2017) Officials of the National Intelligence and Security Services have continued to subject newspapers to post-print censorship of 6 newspapers, the NISS has continued to prevent the distribution of daily print runs of 4 newspapers who had been subjected to repeated censorship in November.
(28 November 2017) The court of appeal ruled that the decision by Khartoum North court should be maintained (upheld). This was in response to the objections/appeal by the military’s legal consultant. The judge/justice announced 29th November for the coming court session.
While airstrikes have eased, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the government sponsored Popular Defence Forces militia continue to breach ceasefire through violent looting incursions into SPLA/M-N controlled areas of Southern Kordofan.
The months of March, April and May 2017 were still under the ceasefire agreement which began last year and all incidents reported here constitute a breach of the ceasefire. A four month unilateral ceasefire was first declared by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir on 17 June 2016 and extended in October to the end of 2016. Following the partial lifting of sanctions on Sudan by the US in January 2017, the ceasefire was extended by another six months.
Due to the ongoing ceasefire, the situation in Southern Kordofan (SK) and Blue Nile (BN) states has been relatively calm, by the area’s standards, mainly as a result of the lack of aerial bombardment of civilian areas. However, this period has been characterised by the looting of livestock (i.e. goats, sheep and cattle) in SK, undermining peoples’ livelihoods at a time of drought and ensuing food insecurity. Almost every household in SK has livestock and while only richer households hold cattle, most others will hold 30-70 goats and 20-40 sheep. The poorer households will have much less. Unfortunately, whenever there is looting all animals that are owned by the household(s) concerned are taken.