Darfur lawyer calls on AU Human Rights Commission to support Sudan govt
The African Union must continue its efforts in providing technical assistance to Sudan’s Transitional Government and establish an office in Khartoum, Darfuri lawyer and human rights activist Abdelrahman El Gasim told the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in Banjul, The Gambia, last week.
On October 28, El Gasim, on behalf of the Kampala-based Sudanese think-tank El Khatim Adlan Centre*, and in collaboration with the Darfur Bar Association, and the Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, presented their Statement on HRs Situation in Sudan to African Commission during its the 65th Ordinary Session.
The Darfur Network for Monitoring and Documentation posted the Statement on its website:
“[..] For the time being, Sudan is at a critical stage in which the post-revolution transition government inherited a completely empty treasury and economic sanctions imposed on the country in conjunction with the policies of the former regime.
“The people are now living very critical conditions while there is no a glimpse of hope for lifting economic sanctions and removing Sudan from the list of state sponsoring terrorism.
“It would require tremendous efforts to be exerted by the Transitional Government by holding accountable the terror cells and elements of the former regime who are still actively mobilising their supporters in the mosques and disseminating fundamentalist beliefs and threatening to launch religious war – jihad – on any effort of reform or any attempt to transform the theocratic state system into a civil state.
“In this regard, Sudan needs the concerted African efforts, spearheaded the African Union and its relevant institutions such as the African Commission on Human and People’s rights. The latter is requested to establish special mechanisms for Sudan and to help in paving the way for the transitional period to move smoothly towards a sustainable democracy.
“During the period between June and the last few days of October, serious violations were committed against civilians in Darfur. For instance, a number of villages, including Mershing and Kidinir were attached. Torture leading to death cases were reported in Nyala, besides the rape of three minors. Furthermore, the suffering of the internally displaced persons in camps is continuing.
In South Kordofan, assassinations and arbitrary arrests are still occurring. The informal mining activities that lack the required proper standards has led to environmental disasters and linked to distortions of embryos of pregnant women and the death of livestock.
“The El Khatim Adlan Centre and the collaborating organisations request the following:
1. Call upon the African Union to continue its efforts in providing technical assistance to the Transitional Government by establishing an office in Khartoum and to continue the process of building national and state government institutions and to support the peace process.
2. Appeal to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to send a fact-finding mission to investigate the human rights violations took place in the post-revolution period and to investigate the violations in the war zones of Darfur, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains.
3. Appeal to the Transitional Government, in its two components in the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers, to complete the establishment of independent institutions for all Sudanese people without discrimination on any basis.
4. Urge the Government to extradite the indicted war criminals to the international justice while allowing the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to follow the unfinished investigations of persons who have committed war crimes after the ICC finalized its first list.
5. Call upon the Transitional Government to establish peace throughout Sudan and activate the transitional justice process to heal the wounds and address all historical grievances.
6. Appeal to the Government of Sudan to ratify all international and regional conventions and their protocols which are yet to be ratified by Sudan.”
* The El Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE) in Khartoum was closed by agents of the the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS -restructured after the ousting of President Al Bashir) on December 31, 2012.
The action was part of a “fierce campaign” of Sudanese authorities against research centres, cultural centres, and civil society organisations in the country. By January 2015, at least 13 prominent civil society centres had been closed
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