Lawyer and human rights defender Salih Mahmoud Mohamed Osman has voiced doubts at the Sudanese government's intention to implement the tripartite programme, launched this week, designed to strengthen the rule of law in Darfur.
In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Mahmoud said that the programme, launched by the United Nations and the Sudanese Ministries of Justice and International Cooperation “will not succeed unless the international community who designed the programme are responsible for managing these resources and oversee its implementation”.
Mahmoud, who was awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2007 for his defence of human rights said that as the Sudanese government is part of the process, there is serious concern about non-implementation of the programme.
Under the umbrella of the “Global Focal Point”, which is a United Nations working arrangement between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and other UN partners, the programme was developed following consultations with the Sudanese government and civil society organisations.
'Obviously this declaration demonstrates that the situation in Darfur has remained stalled despite the international and regional presence to stop the war, realise security, and rule of law…'
Mahmoud: “Obviously this declaration demonstrates that the situation in Darfur has remained stalled despite the international and regional presence to stop the war, realise security, and rule of law.
“The government’s habit of not honouring agreements will move around this declaration with its eyes on the material assistance provided, particularly by the UNDP.
“These resources and funds will not reach the people of Darfur in any way as we have seen in all the previous experiences.
“Hence, there is a concern over the presence of existing state institutions under the central government that do not recognise the Darfur crisis and deal with the displaced persons and refugees as political opponents supportive of the armed movements. Therefore no action will be taken for the benefit of the people of Darfur.”
Mahmoud welcomed this week’s declaration of the programme as a step meant to help the displaced and refugees to return to their places of origin in Darfur to return to a normal life.
He added that “the declaration on rule of law exists in the Doha Document for Peace on Darfur, and is intended to address the situation in Darfur”.
However, he explained that “the Sudanese government has not taken any positive steps to implement the provisions of the Doha Document related to issues on human rights, justice, reconciliation, ceasefire, security arrangements, internal dialogue, consultation, Justice, peace, reparations, ease of bitterness, voluntary return and reconstruction”.
He pointed out that the government has, in return, given heed to issues the people of Darfur have nothing to do with, such as the referendum held during the final days of the outgoing Darfur Regional Authority.
The Doha Document of Peace in Darfur (DDPD) was signed between the government of Sudan and former rebel movements in 2011. Among the articles of the DDPD was a stipulation that Darfuri students would be exempt from tuition fees as Sudanese Universities.
However a referendum also stipulated in the DDPD, which was held last April, effectively abolished the DRA, as well as the stipulations of the DDPD.