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Siha Network urges Sudan govt to take violence against women seriously

July 26 - 2020 KAMPALA
A woman in the Abu Shok camp for displaced people in North Darfur (File photo)
A woman in the Abu Shok camp for displaced people in North Darfur (File photo)

The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (Siha Network) calls on the Sudanese government to take serious steps to combat the “systematic violence” against women in Darfur, Kordofan, and Blue Nile state.

In a statement on Thursday, Siha Network urged Khartoum to take a “radical position” toward the ongoing attacks on people in Sudan’s conflict regions, and develop “strategic plans” to stop the violence, in cooperation with women activists and civil society members.

The government should review discriminatory policies and laws that ensure impunity for military and security forces. “These laws that allow violence and terror to happen against women without accountability, will remain an obstacle to any efforts to achieve peace and justice.”

‘The militarisation of the Sudanese society impedes the country's opportunity of reaching a peaceful transition’ – Siha Network

The network emphasised the need to accelerate the completion of civil governance structures, especially the High Peace Council, saying that “the military’s control over civil space” and “the strong presence of militias in the country” are the main factors threatening the security of women.

“The militarisation of the Sudanese society” during the 30-year regime of Omar Al Bashir “impedes the country's opportunity of reaching a peaceful transition,” the statement reads. “The presence of militias will be an obstacle for reaching a sustainable and agreed peace. Consequently, security arrangements must receive priority, including the reform of the security and military institutions.”

Siha Network points in its statement to the sit-ins organised in various parts of Sudan “that can be considered the beginning of a broad popular movement to achieve the most prominent slogan of the protests that overthrew President Al Bashir, which is peace”.

According to the women initiative, the transitional government in Khartoum “still uses old remedies that have proven unsuccessful in achieving peace, which include continued repression, militarisation, government militias, the absence of the Rule of Law, and the lack of a clear vision of transitional justice”.

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