Sudan’s civil society honoured with 2020 NED Democracy Award
Sudan’s Regional Centre for Development and Training (RCDCS), the Nuba Women for Education and Development Association (NuWEDA), and the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) have been honoured with the 2020 National Endowment for Democracy (NED)* award, in recognition of “working tirelessly to strengthen civil society in Sudan”.
A virtual online event last night paid tribute to the people of Sudan and their historic 2019 revolution. The Washington-based NED motivates the awards by pointing out that “Sudan now faces an historic opportunity for democratic transition. For more than six months preceding the formal power-sharing agreement in August 2019, the democratic civic movement of Sudan engaged in peaceful, countrywide protests demanding a transition to civilian rule and respect for democracy and human rights. Organised by the Sudanese Professional Association, these protests were organic in nature and were the result of thousands of small initiatives to build civic capacity and to promote the values and concepts of democracy and human dignity,” an NED statement reads.
Video: The virtual awards event last night
‘It is NED’s hope that this award will build solidarity for the people of Sudan in their historic struggle for inclusive democracy, human rights, and lasting peace’ – NED president Carl Gershman
“The 2020 Democracy Award honours three groups who have been working for years to ensure the rights of all Sudanese people are protected, to build a new generation of democratic leaders, and to shape a democratic future for Sudan,” said NED president Carl Gershman. “It is NED’s hope that this award will build solidarity for the people of Sudan in their historic struggle for inclusive democracy, human rights, and lasting peace.”
 Regional Centre for Development and Training of Civil Society (RCDCS) trained hundreds of youth across the country on democracy, activism, and local engagement. The Centre’s overall aim is to strengthen and empower youth and civil society organisations to play a more effective role in achieving peace, democracy, and sustainable development in Sudan. It is currently working to formalise pathways for youth to engage in and be heard by government decision-making processes and political parties, as well as supporting local committees to maintain citizen engagement during the transitional period. Abdel Mitaal Mohammed Ahmed Girshab receiving the Democracy Award on behalf of the Regional Centre for Development and Training of Civil Society.
 Nuba Women for Education and Development Association (NuWEDA)** trains women activists to engage in peace processes and activism on local issues and national respect for women’s rights. It is currently working to advance a national women’s agenda, pass legal reforms to protect women’s rights, and identify and train women to serve in the transitional national assembly. The Association campaigns against sexual and gender-based violence and for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in Sudan. Kamilia Ibrahim Kuku Kura received the Democracy Award on behalf of the Nuba Women for Education and Development Association.
 Darfur Bar Association (DBA) supports marginalised people to advocate for their rights and provided legal assistance to vulnerable activists before and during the protests. The DBA provides legal assistance to Darfuri and other human rights activists targeted by the Sudanese government because of their ethnic identity or advocacy for human rights and democracy. The Bar Association will be vital in legal reform, peace negotiations, and transitional justice and accountability efforts. Abdelrahman Mohamed Al Gasim received the Democracy Award on behalf of the Darfur Bar Association is.
* The National Endowment for Democracy is a private, non-profit, grant-making organisation created in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. It is active in more than 90 countries, supporting grassroots democratic initiatives. More information about NED and the Democracy Award can be found at www.ned.org.
** Also on Radio Dabanga today: Interview with Radio Dabanga’s programme Kandaka, which focuses on women’s interests and gender issues, women’s activist Najwa Mousa, a leading member of civil society organisations in the Nuba Mountains. “Women in the Nuba Mountains have a major role in society and link the social fabric, saying that women face great challenges and go with their feet for long distances with a view to linking the social fabric with the disputed parties.”
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