Opposition to constitutional changes in Sudan grows

A group of human rights defenders refuse to recognise the decisions passed by Sudan’s National Assembly on the constitutional amendments on Sudan’s rights and freedoms.

A group of human rights defenders refuse to recognise the decisions passed by Sudan's National Assembly on the constitutional amendments on Sudan's rights and freedoms.

“We demand that the president does not to sign the amendments approved by the National Assembly,” said leader of the group, Dr Fatahul-Rahman El Gadi in an interview with Radio Dabanga. The activists add their voice “to most of the political and public forces” in this matter.

According to El Gadi, the amendments are incompatible with the outcomes of the concluded National Dialogue, reflecting only the will of the ruling party. “The party used its majority to stand against the constitutional amendments, which has caused severe damage to the political consensus produced by the National Dialogue Conference.”

In October 2016, the political forces participating in the government-led National Dialogue concluded the process by signing a National Document which includes the general features and amendments of a future constitution, to be finalised by transitional institutions.

In a memorandum addressed to President Omar Al Bashir, the Vice-President and the Speaker of Parliament, the activists called on the government to enact flexible legislation on the issue of freedom of expression so that civil society organisations can handle their tasks efficiently and easily in providing assistance to those affected in other crisis areas.

They want Khartoum to engage in dialogue with the opposition parties and armed factions, in order to find solutions for the provision of humanitarian aid in the areas of crisis.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, El Gadi added: “We called for a formation of a mechanism to prosecute offenders and have a commission for transitional justice and reparation for the individuals and groups affected by the widespread violations of human rights in the absence of capacity or willingness to uphold the principles of justice and redress.”