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'Human rights violations in Sudan continue': 22 organisations to UN Council

September 22 - 2017 GENEVA
UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (file photo)
UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (file photo)

The United Nations Human Rights Council should take stronger action in response to the dire human rights situation in Sudan, a number of human rights organisations wrote in a joint letter to the council, which is holding its 36th session in Geneva.

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), Human Rights Watch, PAX, Redress Trust, Waging Peace and 17 other Sudanese and international human rights and activist groups draw the attention of the council's member states to the “Sudanese government’s continuing violations against civilians, including displaced people, in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.

“Despite the government’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire, indiscriminate attacks have continued against civilians in violation of international humanitarian law.” The organisations attached an annex of violations documented by the ACJPS.

“In Darfur, between 28 May and 15 June 2017, a number of attacks were perpetrated against civilians and civilian property by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) among others, leaving 17 dead, 30 seriously injured and 17 abducted.

“In 2017, aerial bombardment, which has marked much of the conflicts in Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile state and the Darfur region, appears to have been paused, or at least greatly reduced. […] There is an urgent need for agreement on modalities for impartial

humanitarian aid to be delivered into rebel-held parts of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, both cross-line and cross-border.

“Sudan has targeted human rights defenders with trumped up criminal charges, arbitrary detention, and “show trials”. Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, a prominent rights defender, along with nine other defenders, was detained for more than eight months.”

“Six years into the conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, condemn in the strongest terms the grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.”

The organisations concluded that the UN Human Rights Council needs to take stronger action in response to the dire human rights situation in Sudan. It should adopt, at its 36th session, a resolution under agenda item 4. Among others the council should “strengthen the special procedure mandate on Sudan by extending it as a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, with a mandate to monitor and publicly and periodically report on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in all parts of Sudan”.

In addition, “Request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently dispatch investigation teams, with expertise in sexual and gender-based violence, to investigate crimes under international law and serious violations and abuses of human rights in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

22 organisations' letter to UN Human Rights Council

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